South Africa's WeBuyCars debuts on Johannesburg Stock Exchange, aims for growth

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April 11, 2024
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2 min read
Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)

The news: 

  • WeBuyCars, a South African pre-owned motor vehicle business, debuted on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) today, Thursday, April 11, 2024, with the share code "WBC."
  • Before listing, the 23-year-old company, which planned to issue 417,181,120 shares, targeted an R7.8 billion (~$420 million) raise as the shares commenced trading. 
  • The shares of Transaction Capital-owned used-car business opened at R20 per share, higher than the IPO price of R18.75 per share, indicating a total market capitalisation of R8.34 billion (~$444 million) at the open. 

According to WeBuyCars' CEO, Faan van der Walt, the company plans to increase the volume of traded vehicles from an average of 14,000 per month to 23,000 by 2029.

In a recent interview, he stated, "We have had rapid growth at WeBuyCars for a long time. It’s definitely large enough to merit a separate listing.” 

WeBuyCars, founded in 2001, acts as a middleman to facilitate the sale and purchase of used vehicles. In 2023, the company purchased 141,851 cars and sold 142,337.

According to its parent company, Transaction Capital, also listed on the JSE, the unbundling and listing will provide WeBuyCars shareholders with direct access to a market-leading asset.

Currently, the company employs 2,800 staff across South Africa, trades used vehicles in 15 supermarkets, operates 74 buying pods, and has more than 340 buyers countrywide.

Describing the journey that has led to the listing on the JSE as “amazing”, the company’s CEO expressed excitement over the opportunity to boost brand dominance, create liquidity for shareholders, and onboard interesting talents. 

Speaking about the listing, Valdene Reddy, Director of Capital Markets at the JSE, said the exchange is thrilled to welcome a new business this year. 

According to the JSE, WeBuyCars will be the second company listed on the South African stock exchange in 2024, following only three since 2019. The new listing brings the total number of companies listed on the JSE to 283, with a market cap of R18.4 trillion ( billion). 

Reports indicate that the stock exchange is expected to list up to 10 more companies in 2024, including cannabis firm, Cilo Cybin Holdings, on April 12. Other companies are Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, later in 2024, which has been on hold for three years;  Pick n Pay Stores’ Boxer; and RCL Foods’ Rainbow Chicken business. 

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