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March 25, 2011 - Burlington, VT - Dealer.com, the global leader in automotive internet marketing solutions, today announced that Apax Partners will acquire an approximately 30 percent ownership of Dealer.com from Yellow Media Inc. The change in minority ownership follows an announcement that Yellow Media Inc., who previously owned an approximately 30 percent stake in Dealer.com, is selling Trader Corporation, which includes its ownerships stake in Dealer.com, to Apax Partners. Closing of the contemplated transaction is expected to occur in June 2011, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.
"We welcome the opportunity to work with Apax as a new business partner and shareowner, as this presents an opportunity to benefit from their business experience and resources as we continue to grow our operations," said Mark Bonfigli, CEO of Dealer.com. "We greatly appreciate everything that Yellow Media Inc. has done for us as an investor and have enjoyed working with them tremendously."
"We also look forward to partnering with the founders of Dealer.com and support the business on its strong growth trajectory," said Mitch Truwit, partner at Apax Partners. "This is a very exciting online opportunity in a sector that Apax knows very well thanks to our existing investments in Trader Media Group in the UK, Bankrate in the U.S. and SouFun in China. We will use this expertise to work with the management of Trader Auto and invest in the heritage AutoTrader brand to realise its full potential and allow it to enhance its leadership position."
As the current global leader in automotive internet marketing, the new ownership comes on the heels of several years of sustained growth for Dealer.com, with revenues reaching $85 million in 2010, an increase of over 60 percent from 2009 - and more than triple the 2008 level. In addition to its continued strong financial performance, Dealer.com has increased more than 100 percent in research and development spending, expanded industry partnerships, obtained a variety of prestigious awards and accolades, and announced plans to add more than 200 people to its growing workforce.
The new ownership is not expected to impact the daily operations of Dealer.com, interactions with its customers or employees, or implementation of its services.
Dealer.com is the global leader in online marketing solutions for the automotive industry, providing award winning e-marketing solutions to OEMs, auto dealers and media companies. The company's innovative websites and integrated online tools include advertising alternatives that significantly lower the cost of customer acquisition, enhancing dealers' efficiency and profitability.
Recent national and international accolades include Inc. magazine's 2010 Top Small Company Workplaces and Inc. 5000 Rankings, and Deloitte's Technology Fast 500. In addition, Dealer.com won three 2010 DrivingSales Vendor Ratings Awards as Top Rated Provider in the Website, SEO and SEM-PPC categories; the Automotive Website Association's 2010 Pinnacle Platform Award and its award for Best Online Advertising Tool; the 2010 Dealers' Choice Diamond Award for Best Website Solution; and Auto Dealer Monthly's award for Best Video Technology of 2010. Dealer.com also was recently recognized by Vermont Business magazine as the state's fastest-growing company, and was ranked first in SEO effectiveness among auto dealer website providers for the third consecutive year by Sorgenfrei LLC. For more information visit: http://www.dealer.com/promo/look-inside.htm
About Apax Partners
Apax Partners is one of the world's leading private equity investment groups. It operates across the United States, Europe and Asia and has more than 30 years of investing experience. Funds under the advice and management of Apax Partners globally total around $40 billion. These Funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. Apax Partners Funds invest in companies across its global sectors of Tech & Telecom, Retail & Consumer, Media, Healthcare and Financial & Business Services. For more information visit: www.apax.com.