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Oslo, 9 September 2019: Adevinta announces it has reached an agreement to acquire the Argus Group, the leading player in digital marketing services to the automotive industry in France, to further strengthen leboncoin Group, France’s number one peer-to-peer website and leading online marketplace for cars, property and jobs. The transaction is expected to close by the end of October 2019.
Leboncoin Group continues to deepen its penetration of the automotive sector in France, building on from the recent acquisition of PayCar in June. With this acquisition, leboncoin will benefit from the Argus’ expertise and penetration of the professional market for second-hand car trade, particularly the Argus’ flagship product, a second-hand vehicle pricing tool which is the number one player in the French market. Leboncoin Group will also look at developing the Argus’ activities in line with its objectives and those of the wider Adevinta Group, notably by accelerating digitisation and refocusing international expansion within Adevinta’s footprint. In 2018, the Argus generated revenue of €39.1 million and operating earnings of €5.4 million (EBITDA).
“We have said we will engage in M&A activity to strengthen our positions in markets where we are already leading, and we are following through on that commitment,” said Rolv Erik Ryssdal, CEO of Adevinta. “We have also seen strong growth in our key sectors in cars, jobs and property, and acquiring the Argus Group enhances our strong position in the French car market segment.”
Founded in 1927 and headquartered in Paris, the Argus offers a range of products aimed at professionals in the automotive industry, including manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and auctioneers. Originally established as a trade publication more than 100 years ago, the group has successfully diversified and digitalised its services, to cover key aspects of the sector under five business segments: Argus Information, Argus Valuation, Argus Solution, Argus Acquisition and Argus Consulting. The group has created the number one market reference in valuing second-hand cars in France, through the Cote Argus® that has a 90% market share. The Argus employs approximately 270 employees in Paris, Nantes, Toulouse and Casablanca (Morocco).
Antoine Jouteau, CEO of leboncoin Group, commented, “leboncoin is the French second-hand car market leader with 9 out of 10 car professionals using us. This acquisition will help us further strengthen our position in the automotive market. The Argus’ offerings will complement our own solutions, especially their core pricing tool. Car professionals and their businesses will benefit greatly from our combined data knowledge, expertise and strength in the sector, and the improvements we’ll be able to offer across the entire value chain. The list of synergies to consider is almost endless, underlining the excellent fit of Argus’ core businesses with ours.”
"Argus is the leading player in second-hand car valuations and management software in France, while leboncoin is the undisputed leader of classified ads and data in France. The combination of the two brands is therefore complementary and innovative. We chose leboncoin as we share a similar vision for our businesses, to be ever more inventive in serving our customers better. This is also made possible thanks to the expertise of our employees,” said Alexandrine Breton des Loÿs, President of L’Argus Group.
The value of the transaction is undisclosed.
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