Cox Enterprises holds 98% stake in AutoTrader Group

Cox Enterprises, Inc. has acquired Providence Equity’s 25% equity interest in AutoTrader Group, thereby holding 98% stake in AutoTrader Group. The remainder 2% is being held by current and former employees. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Providence Equity acquired a 25% percent stake in AutoTrader in 2010. Since then AutoTrader acquired Haystak Digital Marketing, HomeNet Automotive, Kelley Blue Book, vAuto and VinSolutions. This collective now constitutes AutoTrader Group, which also holds 21.8% stake in Bitauto, which services China’s fast-growing automotive industry. Cox Enterprises also owns and operates Manheim for vehicle remarketing services and registers about 8 million used vehicles annually.

AutoTrader

“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.”

“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.”

“Since we launched AutoTrader.com 15 years ago, we have worked tirelessly to meet the needs of our customers by expanding our online and software products. With this acquisition, Cox Enterprises and AutoTrader Group will continue to look for opportunities to grow our leadership position and further innovate ways to meet the needs of car buyers,” said Dyer.