Softbank invests 460 million euros in Germany’s Auto1: sources

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BERLIN (Reuters) – Japan’s Softbank will invest 460 million euros ($561 million) in used-car dealing platform Auto1, marking the first investment in Germany by its Vision Fund, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Around half of the investment will be made via new shares, valuing Auto1 at 2.9 billion euros and supporting the auto trader’s international expansion, the sources said ahead of an announcement expected on Monday.

The Financial Times first reported the investment by the Softbank Vision Fund, which was set up by Japan’s Masayoshi Son and has raised more than $90 billion, chiefly from the sovereign wealth funds of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.

Berlin-based Auto1, founded in 2012, enables dealers and private drivers to trade in used cars via an online platform that uses analytics to match prices according to supply and demand across Europe.

The company now operates in more than 30 countries. It sold more than 300,000 vehicles in 2016 and achieved revenues of 1.5 billion, according to the sources.

($1 = 0.8201 euros)

Reporting by Nadine Schimroszik; Writing by Douglas Busvine, editing by David Evans