By Douglas Busvine and Alexander Hübner
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's MeinAuto Holding is gearing up for a stock market listing that could value the online car dealer at 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion), sources familiar with the matter said.
MeinAuto, based just outside Munich, may announce its intention to float after Easter with a view to listing during the second quarter, the sources said, after last month's successful listing of used-car platform AUTO1.
Bank of America, Citi and Barclays are among the lead banks on the planned deal, they told Reuters.
MeinAuto is looking to tailgate AUTO1, which is trading 30% above the level at which it floated in Frankfurt, valuing the business at 10 billion euros.
With a focus on new cars, MeinAuto has launched a TV ad campaign after a year of growth driven by a shift from buying to paying to use them.
"The market has changed...There is a trend away from ownership and towards smart usership, with deals increasingly being done online," Rudolf Rizzolli, MeinAuto's chief executive, told Reuters in an interview.
Rizzolli declined to comment on MeinAuto's financial plans.
MeinAuto is tapping into the same shift as identified by AUTO1, in which many drivers are getting a new set of wheels without visiting a dealer or taking a test drive.
"Ninety percent of customers inform themselves about cars online before buying. The online share of new car sales is just 2%. But that is growing quickly," Rizzolli said.
"Our growth last year was in the high double digits, while the overall market shrank against the backdrop of COVID-19."
MeinAuto does around 80% of its business through instalment plans and 20% in sales. It also offers a leasing product and vehicle sponsorships for sports clubs and teams.
It competes with several online dealers in Germany including Autohaus24 and CarsAgentur24 in a segment offering a route for automakers to shift inventory and where discounts are decisive.
Private equity firm Hg bought the group's leasing operation from Unicredit Leasing in 2018 and subsequently combined it with MeinAuto.
($1 = 0.8401 euros)
(Additional reporting by Arno Schuetze; Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Alexander Smith)