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Travers Smith advises Auto Trader Group plc on its joint venture with Cox Automotive UK


Travers Smith LLP has advised existing client Auto Trader Group plc, the UK's largest digital automotive marketplace, on a joint venture with Cox Automotive UK Limited to provide a leading digital marketplace for wholesale vehicles in the UK.

Following completion of the joint venture, which is conditional upon clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority in the UK, the new business will combine three businesses onto a single platform to provide the UK automotive market with a comprehensive online auction service and will provide fleet companies, manufacturers and retailers with a more efficient and convenient way to dispose of their stock of vehicles.

Auto Trader will contribute assets valued at £28.7m (book value £8.6m) to the joint venture and pay £19.7m in cash to Cox. Cox will contribute assets valued at £70.1m.

The joint venture company, to be called Dealer Auction, will be co-owned by both companies, with Cox holding 51% and Auto Trader Limited, a subsidiary of Auto Trader Group plc, holding the remaining 49%.

The Travers Smith team was led by Corporate Finance Partner Andrew Gillen, with support from Corporate Finance Senior Associate Jamie Lumsden and Corporate Finance Associates Sami Osman and Simon Inder. Commercial advice was provided by Commercial, IP and Technology Partners Dan Reavill and James Longster, Senior Associate Rowan Armstrong and Associate Olivia Charlton-Jones. Specialist tax advice was provided by Tax Partner Madeleine Gowlett and Associate Laura Jackson.

Cox was advised by CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP.

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