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Apax Partners to acquire Trader Corporation’s Auto assets

Funds advised by Apax Partners have entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Trader Corporation (Trader) from Yellow Media Inc. (TSX: YLO) for approximately USD745m. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.

The assets being acquired comprise AutoTrader.ca, Canada’s leading online automotive classified marketplace, and approximately 30% interest in Dealer Dot Com, Inc, a leading digital dealer marketing service provider in the United States and Canada.  
 
Mitch Truwit, partner at Apax Partners, says: “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 US and SouFun in China. We will use this expertise to work with the management of Trader and invest in the heritage AutoTrader brand to realise its full potential and allow it to enhance its leadership position.  We also look forward to partnering with the founders of Dealer Dot Com and support the business on its strong growth trajectory.”

Doug Clarke, President at Trader Corporation, says: “AutoTrader.ca is the leading online car retail site with twice the used car inventory of our nearest competitor. Customers and dealers recognise our comprehensive listings, better functionality, serious car buyers and sellers, and high quality service as the best in Canada.  Apax’s financial strength and expertise in the sector means they can invest in the business and enhance our already strong operations to extend Trader’s leadership position.”
 
Apax was advised by: RBC (M&A), Goodmans LLP and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (legal), PricewaterhouseCoopers (financial and tax), McKinsey & Company (market and commercial), and Alix Partners (operations).
 
Since January 2010, Apax Funds have invested in ten growth companies across four continents in the firm’s five core sectors.

In the same period, Apax Funds have returned to investors EUR3.3 billion (USD4.7billion) of capital, the largest ever annual amount, by successfully exiting in whole or in part investments in Tommy Hilfiger, IFCO, Bezeq, Promethean World, Qualitest Pharmaceuticals, Spectrum Holding Company and rue21.

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