Berlin – SMP advised the shareholders of the Munich-based mobility and FinTech company Cluno on the acquisition by British online car dealer Cazoo. Cazoo says that it intends to establish Cluno as the company's European headquarters, which will serve as the basis for the company's international growth strategy in Europe. In addition, Cazoo intends to launch a subscription service in the UK in the coming months. Cluno's shareholders received comprehensive legal and tax advice on the acquisition of the Munich-based car subscription provider by a team led by SMP partner Benjamin Ullrich. The company has already relied on the SMP team's expertise in connection with its Series B financing round in 2019.
"The transaction again demonstrates that acquisitions can be an important part of the growth strategy also for young companies. We are pleased that we were able to advise the shareholders of Cluno on this cross-border transaction, having advised the company on the last financing round" says SMP partner Benjamin Ullrich.
Cluno is a flexible mobility concept. The digital car subscription service offers a flexible and hassle-free alternative to car ownership, offering a choice of up to 100 makes and models, with a single monthly subscription fee which includes the car, maintenance, service, warranty, tax and insurance. Founded in 2017 by Christina Polleti, Nico Polleti and Andreas Schuierer, Cluno has grown to a team of over 100 based in Munich. The founders look back on many years of experience in the automotive and internet sectors. Their last company, easyautosale, was acquired by Autoscout24 in 2015. Cluno is supported by leading venture capital investors including Valar Ventures, Acton Capital Partners and Atlantic Labs.
Cazoo is a UK-based online car retailer and already one of the fastest growing businesses in Europe. Cazoo owns and fully reconditions all its cars before offering them on its website and has thousands of cars available at any time for either delivery or collection in as little as 72 hours. The company is pioneering the shift to online car buying and, since its launch just over one year ago, has already delivered almost 20,000 cars to consumers across the UK. Cazoo was founded in 2018 by serial entrepreneur Alex Chesterman OBE, has a highly experienced management team and is backed by some of the leading global technology investors.
SMP is a boutique law firm for tax and business law which is active in the core fields of Tax, Funds, Corporate, Litigation and Transactions. The attorneys and tax specialists at SMP represent a broad client base, which ranges from emerging technology companies and family-run SMEs to large corporations as well as private equity and venture capital funds. Founded in 2017, SMP has become one of the leading players for venture capital, private equity and fund structuring in Germany. The firm and its partners have been recognized nationally and internationally by JUVE, Best Lawyers, Legal 500, Focus and Chambers and Partners. Today, SMP has more than 60 experienced lawyers and tax specialists in three Offices in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne.
Advisors shareholders Cluno: SMP
Dr. Benjamin Ullrich (Co-Lead/Corporate), Partner
Dr. Malte Bergmann (Tax), Partner
Dr. Adrian Haase (Co-Lead/Corporate), Senior Associate
Ann-Kristin Lochmann (Tax), Senior Associate
Matthias Kresser (Corporate), Senior Associate
Daniela Machado (Corporate), Senior Foreign Associate
Christiane Schnitzler (Corporate), Associate