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Carsome Group and Catcha Partner to Create Largest Digital Automotive Marketplace in SE Asia via US$200M Acquisition of iCar Asia

KUALA LUMPUR, 13 JULY 2021: Carsome Group, Southeast Asia’s largest integrated car e-commerce platform, today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire 19.9% of ASX-listed iCar Asia Ltd (“iCar Asia”) from Catcha Group[1]. Carsome and Catcha Group have also made a joint proposal to the independent directors of iCar Asia to acquire the balance of 80.1% of iCar from its shareholders[2]. The total transaction is estimated to be worth more than US$200 million.

Carsome Group is the market leader in the online used car buying and selling platform across Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore, while iCar Asia is the leading listings and content automotive platform across those same markets. Carsome and iCar Asia, combined, offers an integrated automotive ecosystem – for dealers to source, advertise and sell cars; and, for consumers to research, sell and buy cars – in a region that trades over US$55 billion[3] worth of automobiles annually.

It also cements the position of Carsome, the first tech unicorn in Malaysia, as Southeast Asia’s most valuable digital automotive marketplace.

The proposed integration between Carsome Group and iCar Asia offers significant strengths:

  • Target US$1 billion revenue for 2021
  • Around 100,000 cars transacted annually
  • Over 460,000 live partner listings
  • Over 10 million monthly unique visitors
  • Over 13,000 car dealers on its network
  • Largest automotive data set
  • New products and services to be announced

This acquisition unites two renowned tech entrepreneurs in the Southeast Asian region: Eric Cheng, the Co-founder and Group CEO of Carsome; and Patrick Grove, the Co-founder and Group CEO of Catcha Group.

Catcha Group will become a shareholder of the Carsome Group in exchange for the sale of its shares in iCar Asia to Carsome. Cheng will lead the Carsome Group as CEO, and he welcomes Grove’s support as one of the founders alongside Cheng and Jiun Ee Teoh to drive the future growth of the business.

“We are excited to have Patrick join us as he brings along two decades of tech entrepreneurship and capital market expertise. This transaction is an important part of our growth strategy to build the entire automotive ecosystem in Southeast Asia and part of how we are transforming the industry through trust, transparency and technology,” said Cheng. “This is the first step toward consolidation to form the largest digital automotive group in terms of revenue, user base, largest live listing, and the best end-to-end fulfilment capability in the region.”

The deal unlocks the Carsome Group to provide even greater solutions and experience across the buying and selling value chain. The proposed acquisition of iCar Asia offers an enhanced suite of digital products and services to more dealers and consumers in all key markets. The expanded suite of solutions will offer an end-to-end, super-app experience that covers the entire car buying and selling value chain.

Consumers will enjoy a seamless, one-stop solution as Carsome Group expands its offerings to span the whole car ownership journey – from search, transaction, finance and insurance to after-sales services.

“Bringing iCar Asia’s extensive traffic and dealer network in the region together with Carsome’s leadership position in automotive e-commerce is extremely powerful. We are excited to join Carsome as shareholders and work with Eric and his team to expand our leadership position and look forward to helping the combined business dominate the US$55 billion digital automotive space in Southeast Asia in the years ahead,” added Grove.

Georg Chmiel, Chairman of Board of Directors of iCar Asia, said: “The Board of iCar looks forward to welcoming Carsome as a shareholder and is discussing the indicative proposal received.” Hamish Stone, CEO and Managing Director of iCar Asia, added: “As both sides continue to engage on the indicative proposal, we also look forward to further exploring potential commercial partnerships that will benefit both parties.”


[1] Subject to relevant regulatory approvals.

[2] The proposal is subject to due diligence, execution of binding transaction documentation, the recommendation of the independent directors of iCar Asia to its shareholders to vote in favour of the transaction and other customary terms and conditions. Accordingly, whether or not the transaction proceeds is subject to the independent directors of iCar Asia agreeing to progress the transaction and other conditions.

[3] Source: Momentum Works Southeast Asia Used Cars Report 2020.

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