French second-hand car group Aramis valued at up to 2.3 billion in IPO

PARIS (Reuters) -French second-hand car group Aramis, which is majority-owned by Stellantis, on Tuesday set the price range for its stock market debut, valuing the group at up to 2.3 billion euros ($2.80 billion).

Aramis, which operates sites like CarSupermarket in Britain and is present in France, Spain and Belgium, joins digital music group Believe and several other French firms in testing investor appetite amid signs of some market fatigue.

Aramis’ planned initial public offering would be priced at between 23 and 28 euros per share, the company said.

It hopes to raise between 446-481 million euros ($543-$586 million) in an IPO that would value the group at between 1.9 billion and 2.3 billion euros.

The company’s managers said they planned to make more acquisitions with the funds. Although online second-hand car sales are booming, the e-commerce side of the business is very fragmented, and most sales largely still take place in dealerships and between individuals.

“Our ambition is to become the preferred digital platform in Europe to buy a used car,” said company founders Nicolas Chartier and Guillaume Paoli in a joint statement.

Stellantis, one of Aramis’ suppliers of used cars and a 70% shareholder, will not sell down shares in the IPO, the company has said. Stellantis is the carmaker formed by the merger of France’s PSA and Italian-American group Fiat Chrysler earlier this year.

Aramis’ stock market debut comes after German used-car trading platform AUTO1 listed in Frankfurt earlier this year, raising 1 billion euros and valuing the group at about 7.9 billion euros on its debut.

Several companies have been looking to take advantage of resilient global equity market conditions by listing on the stock market, although there has been some evidence of cooling sentiment.

Earlier this month French car parts distributor Parts Holding Europe (PHE) scrapped its Paris initial public offering, citing unfavourable market conditions.

($1 = 0.8212 euros)

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Sarah White; Editing by Kim Coghill, Kirsten Donovan