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

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


The news:

  • WeBuyCars, a South African used motor vehicle company, debuted on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) today, Thursday 11 April 2024, under the stock code “WBC”.
  • Before the listing, the 23-year-old company, which planned to issue 417,181,120 shares, was targeting a raise of R7.8 billion (~$420 million) as the shares began trading.
  • Shares in the Transaction Capital-owned used car company opened at R20 per share, higher than the IPO price of R18.75 per share, indicating a total market capitalization of 8.34 billion rand (~$444 million) at opening.

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

In a recent interview, he said: “We have been growing rapidly at WeBuyCars for a long time. It's certainly important enough to merit a separate list.

WeBuyCars, founded in 2001, acts as an intermediary 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 people in South Africa, sells used vehicles in 15 supermarkets, operates 74 buying pods and has more than 340 buyers nationwide.

Describing the journey leading up to the JSE listing as incredible, the company's CEO expressed excitement at the opportunity to strengthen the brand's dominance, create liquidity for shareholders and integrate interesting talents.

Speaking about the listing, Valdene Reddy, director of capital markets at the JSE, said the exchange was excited to welcome a new company this year.

According to the JSE, WeBuyCars will be the second company listed on the South African stock exchange in 2024, following just three since 2019. The new listing brings the total number of companies listed on the JSE to 283, with a market capitalization of R18. 4,000 billion (billion).

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

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