Optimus Group Co. Ltd., a publicly listed company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (9268), has entered into an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Auto Trader Media Group, owners of autotrader.co.nz, one of New Zealand’s leading automotive sales websites. In alignment with the Group’s diversification strategy, Autotrader.co.nz provides a trusted digital platform and extends the range of services it supplies to the automotive sector across New Zealand.
Every month Auto Trader is visited by hundreds of thousands of unique car buyers throughout New Zealand to research and purchase their next vehicle.
Current owners, Ross Logue and Richie East, acquired the title from Bauer Media in 2019, under a management buy-out. At that time around 23,000 cars per month were listed and the title had a limited online presence. Today, following a rebuild of the website earlier this year, Auto Trader now lists around 44,000 cars online each month.
“Auto Trader’s growth under Ross and Richie is evidence of strong ongoing demand and reflects the successful execution of their plan to transition Auto Trader from print to online,” says Darren Bowler from Optimus Group. “The title is an iconic publishing brand in this market, with every issue of the magazine eagerly awaited, purchased, pored over and consulted. Ross and Richie understood its potential when they acquired it from Bauer and have now successfully transitioned its 40-year legacy as the “Car Bible,” into what is now the trusted place for buying and selling cars online.”
Optimus a global business with investments in Australia and New Zealand Optimus Group Co. Ltd is a global automotive business headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The Group has automotive sector investments in New Zealand covering trading, logistics, inspection and services and in Australia covering data, logistics and retailing.
This agreement consolidates Optimus’s presence in the New Zealand market and aligns with its global strategic direction, allowing it to deliver an even wider range of services to consumers, enhancing their automotive sales and purchase experiences.
“Optimus Group operates a global business model in the automotive sector, with operations spread across Japan, New Zealand and Australia offering a full range of end-to-end automotive solutions,” says Nobuya Yamanaka, President of Optimus Group Co. Ltd. “Auto Trader is a trusted digital platform that will provide an opportunity to deliver improved levels of customer services to the New Zealand automotive sector in line with our growth ambitions.”
Last month Optimus Group entered into an agreement to acquire Autopact, one of Australia’s largest privately owned automotive dealership groups.