Auto Trader floats on London Stock Exchange

<p>Auto Trader has placed a value of £2.35 billion on its operations.</p>

Auto Trader has announced its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange.

The car classified ad website has priced its shares at 235p which brings its value up to around £2.35 billion. Conditional share dealings were launched at 08:00 GMT on Thursday (March 19th) with unconditional dealing beginning on March 24th. It concludes a programme which has been running since February 26th.

Auto Trader claims to be the UK's largest car sales website and holds a strong position in the marketplace. It currently boasts around 92 per cent prompted brand awareness in the UK and believes that floating on the stock exchange will help it increase its profile even more across the country.

In its February announcement, the company said it wanted to use its listing to sell more vehicles through advertising on the marketplace, market brands and business more effectively in the digital world and to purchase the right vehicles at the right price. Auto Trader added that effectively floating on the stock exchange would also optimise stock turn and vehicle margin.

Ed Williams, chairman of Auto Trader, said at the time: "Early and sustained investment in the internet and digital technologies has allowed our customers to benefit from the advantages of the internet, whether it is car buyers finding the widest possible range of currently available vehicles, or car sellers reaching the largest number of potential buyers."

One-stop shop for motor dealers

Auto Trader has been a key stopping point for people buying and selling vehicles since it was first launched in 1977. The company originally started as a car classified ad magazine but has blossomed over the years. In 1996 it embraced the world wide web and allowed traders to purchase cars over the internet.

Its online presence meant the company could gradually phase out its print version and the final publication was released in June 2013.

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