Cox Sells 25 Percent in AutoTrader To Providence Equity; Retains Majority

Cox Enterprises is selling 25 percent of its majority stake in auto sales site AutoTrader.com, to PE firm Providence Equity, for an undisclosed amount. With this sale, Cox will still be the majority owner and operator of the property, and Providence will have two board seats with this deal. AutoTrader.com, was formerly known as AutoConnect.com, LLC and changed its name in 1999. The company was founded in 1997 and is based in Atlanta, Georgia, where Cox is based as well.

This comes two years after Cox tried to sell AutoTrader, but took it off the market in late 2008 after worsening financial crisis. Investment banker Goldman Sachs, who Cox hired back then, was also the advisor on this latest deal with Providence. With this new money, AutoTrader will look at acquisitions, among other things, it said. Details in release.