WeBuyCars purchased the TicketPro Dome in Northgate, Johannesburg, from the Sasol Pension Fund in 2021 for R175 million and changed the entertainment venue into a large car showroom.
The venue was renamed the WeBuyCars Dome and helped the company to significantly increase its footprint in Johannesburg.
RX Venue Management, who managed the Ticketpro Dome for 20 years, said the ban on public gatherings during the lockdown crushed the entertainment and even industry.
Because of the prolonged ban on large public gatherings, the Ticketpro Dome could not operate for over a year.
“Ticketpro Dome has been home to many international concerts and events in South Africa, and this will undoubtedly leave a huge void,” RX Africa MD Carol Weaving said.
While the sale was a blow to the local events and entertainment industry, it was perfectly suited to WeBuyCars’ expansion plans.
The Dome was originally intended to be a permanent motor showroom, allowing people to view and test drive a variety of vehicle brands under one roof.
However, this never materialised, and it became a multi-purpose entertainment venue over the years.
Following the sale in 2021, WeBuyCars CEO Faan van der Walt said they could finally realise the original vision held for the Dome.
They developed it into one of the biggest second-hand car dealerships in the world, with approximately 1,500 vehicles under one roof.
To date, the selling price of the TicketPro Dome has not been published. However, property broker Ash Muller has provided details about the deal.
She revealed that WeBuyCars purchased the TicketPro Dome for R175 million in May 2021. The property was officially registered in its name on 15 December 2021.
The Dome was a conceptual building by Viamax Fleet Solutions, which wanted to house multiple car brands under one roof.
“However, when competing brands could not come to an agreement, the plans were paused,” Muller said.
“The car showroom plans were scrapped, and they repurposed the building as an entertainment venue.”
WeBuyCars has transformed the entertainment venue into its most impressive car showroom with a play area for children and a coffee shop.
Daily Investor asked WeBuyCars for further details about the deal, but it said the parties involved agreed not to discuss the purchase price.
However, it said the investment had produced the anticipated results and is doing very well from a volume and footfall perspective.
“Approximately 2,000 vehicles per month are sold from the Dome. Because it is so spacious, it is also being used as WeBuyCar’s hub for leisure and commercial vehicles,” it said.
WeBuyCars is majority owned and controlled by the JSE-listed Transaction Capital and is the growth engine for the holding company.
In its latest results, Transaction Capital revealed that WeBuyCars continues to gain market share and increase vehicles bought and sold.
The average volume of vehicles sold per month increasing by more than 20% over the past 12-month period, currently at approximately 12,000 vehicles.
Over the last six months, WeBuyCars increased the number of vehicles purchased by 20%, from 60,046 to 71,928. It increased the number of vehicles sold by 21%, from 58,520 to 71,020.
It helped the second-hand car retailer to increase its revenue for the six-month reporting period from R8.241 billion to R9.830 billion.
WeBuyCars’ remains very profitable, with core earnings for the six months increasing by 22% from R316 million to R406 million.
Over the past two years, WeBuyCars has invested heavily in its infrastructure, increasing total national capacity to approximately 10,300 parking bays.
“Given WeBuyCars’ strategic positioning, we are confident this business will support Transaction Capital’s earnings growth trajectory in the medium term,” it said.