Cox Enterprises, Inc. and Providence Equity Partners announced a definitive agreement by which Cox has acquired Providence Equity’s 25 percent equity interest in AutoTrader Group. Cox Enterprises now holds a 98 percent stake in AutoTrader Group, with the remainder being held by current and former employees. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
"With more than 32 million monthly visitors to our industry-leading sites AutoTrader.com and KBB.com, AutoTrader Group continues to grow as a trusted and valued online automotive resource for customers across the nation. Our portfolio of media advertising and software products serves more than 27,000 dealer relationships, and we are confident we will continue to lead the way in connecting automotive dealers with the car-buying public,” said Cox Enterprises’ President and CEO John Dyer. “We have greatly appreciated Providence’s strong contributions to the company's exceptional performance as a partner in this growth."
Providence Equity acquired a 25 percent stake in AutoTrader in 2010 to help accelerate the company’s growth. Since that time, AutoTrader acquired Haystak Digital Marketing, HomeNet Automotive, Kelley Blue Book, vAuto and VinSolutions. The collective companies now constitute AutoTrader Group.
“We are extremely gratified to have partnered with Cox and the AutoTrader team,” said Providence’s Managing Director Michael Dominguez. “Through strategic acquisitions and the introduction of dealer software solutions, they have advanced the original vision of the company and created a game changer. AutoTrader has redefined the online auto marketplace and the entire auto shopping experience for the better. It exemplifies the type of media company we seek to invest in around the world. We are proud to have contributed to its growth and believe the company has a very bright future ahead.”
Cox Enterprises also owns and operates Manheim, a global provider of vehicle remarketing services. Manheim pioneered in-lane vehicle auctions and has been an innovator in both digital and mobile auction platforms. The company registers nearly eight million used vehicles annually, facilitating transactions representing more than $50 billion in value.