Funds advised by Apax Partners to sell TRADER Corporation to Thoma Bravo
1 July 2016
Funds advised by Apax Partners ("Apax Funds") have entered into a definitive agreement to sell TRADER Corporation ("TRADER"), Canada's leading digital automotive marketplace and software solutions provider, to private equity firm Thoma Bravo for approximately C$1.575 billion. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close by the fourth quarter of 2016.
TRADER Corporation is Canada's largest and most trusted digital automotive marketplace and provides the most comprehensive set of marketing software solutions to Canadian automotive dealers. Its market leading online properties -- autoTRADER.ca(TM), autoHEBDO.net(TM) and Autos.ca -- attract 13 million visits per month and are regularly relied upon by over 5,000 dealers, listing over 450,000 vehicles. In addition, the company provides software solutions that enable its dealer customers to make smarter and faster business, inventory, and marketing decisions.
Apax Funds acquired TRADER in July 2011 with the objective of driving the transformation of the business into a world-class, pure-play, digital automotive marketplace. Over the last five years, Apax supported TRADER's senior leadership in, among other things, redesigning the core autoTRADER.ca website, launching market leading mobile applications, repositioning and strengthening its consumer brand and go-to-market approach, and introducing new marketplace products and marketing software solutions. Through these efforts and the strong execution by the TRADER team, the company successfully accomplished a full print-to-digital transition and achieved best-in-class growth across all core traffic, customer, and financial metrics.
"During TRADER's partnership with Apax, we completed a complex carve-out of the business from Yellow Media Inc. and applied global best practices to transform the company into Canada's leading digital automotive marketplace," said Sebastian Baldwin, TRADER's President and CEO. "We now look forward to working closely with our new partners at Thoma Bravo to build upon our successes over the coming years."
Marcelo Gigliani, Partner at Apax Partners, commented, "We have greatly enjoyed the partnership we've forged with the TRADER team and are proud to have played a role in accelerating the company's growth and redefining how Canadians buy and sell cars. We thank Sebastian and his team for delivering outstanding results over this period and we wish TRADER and its new partners the best during the next phase of the company's growth."
Through the Apax Digital practice, the Apax Funds are among the world's most experienced private equity investors in the digital classifieds/lead generation and digital marketing solutions space, combining extensive digital investment expertise across three continents with deep operational value-add. In addition to TRADER, selected recent digital investments include AutoTrader (UK), Bankrate (US), Dealer.com (US), Idealista (Spain), and Soufun (China).
TRADER and Apax Funds were advised by Goldman, Sachs & Co., JP Morgan, and Royal Bank of Canada (M&A advisors), Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (legal counsel), and PricewaterhouseCoopers (financial/tax advisor).
About Apax Partners LLP
Apax Partners LLP is a leading global private equity advisory firm. Over its more than 30-year history, Apax Partners has raised and advised funds with aggregate commitments of $38 billion. Funds advised by Apax Partners invest in companies across four global sectors of Services, Tech & Telco, Health Care, and Consumer. These funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. For further information about Apax Partners, please visit www.apax.com.
TRADER is the largest and most trusted digital automotive marketplace in Canada and provides the most comprehensive set of marketing software solutions to Canadian automotive dealers. The company is positioned at the center of the car buying process in Canada, connecting consumers, dealers and OEMs. Its marketplace, led by the flagship autoTRADER.ca website and mobile applications, brings together Canada's largest audience of in-market car shoppers with Canada's most comprehensive and detailed inventory of new and used vehicle listings. TRADER's marketing software solutions enable dealers to manage their websites, digital marketing campaigns and inventory. The company's online marketplaces and destinations include: autoTRADER.ca(TM), autoHEBDO.net(TM) and Autos.ca. Please visit www.tradercorporation.com for more information.