AutoTrader Group Forms IPO Plans
By Nick Zulovich, Editor
June 18, 2012
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ATLANTA — Dealers who use AutoTrader.com to push their vehicles online
now can choose to own a piece of the operation as the site is on its way to
becoming a publicly traded company.
AutoTrader Group — a newly formed entity that includes AutoTrader.com, Kelley Blue Book, vAuto and VinSolutions — filed paperwork with the Securities & Exchange Commission late last week for a proposed initial public offering of its common stock worth $300 million.
Officials said through a registration statement on Form S-1 with the SEC late last week that the number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined.
Auto Remarketing and SubPrime Auto Finance News attempted to reach company executives for comments and reaction to the developments, but company spokesperson Lou Laste said SEC regulations prevent any further dialogue beyond what's contained in federal paperwork.
Formation of New Company
According to federal documents, CEI and Providence Funds formed AutoTrader Group, Inc., in May. CEI encompasses major operating subsidiaries Cox Communications, Manheim and Cox Media Group while Providence Equity Partners obtained a 25-percent stake in CEI two years ago.
AutoTrader Group is divided into two distinct business segments. One is Digital Media, which includes AutoTrader.com and KBB, and the other is Software Solutions, which includes CDMdata, vAuto, HomeNet Automotive and VinSolutions.
The board of this new entity includes:
—Chip Perry, president, chief executive officer and director
—Dallas Clement, executive vice president and chief financial officer
—James Franchi, executive vice president and chief operating officer, AutoTrader.com
—Edward Smith, chief technology officer
—Clark Wood, chief marketing officer
—Steven Smith, senior vice president of dealer sales, AutoTrader.com
—Matthew McKenna, senior vice president of national account sales, AutoTrader.com
—David Amundsen, vice president of finance, AutoTrader.com
—Peter Cassat, vice president and general counsel
—Jared Rowe, president, Kelley Blue Book
—Keith Jezek, president, vAuto and president, VinSolutions
—Dale Pollak, founder, vAuto
—Jimmy Hayes, chairman of the board and director
—Albert Dobron, director
—Michael Dominguez, director
—John Dyer, director
—James Kennedy Jr., director
—John Olin, director
—Sandy Schwartz, director
—Alexander Taylor, director
"Upon the completion of this offering, representatives of CEI and Providence Equity Partners will occupy a majority of the seats on our board," AutoTrader Group officials explained.
"CEI may compete with us directly or invest in entities that directly or indirectly compete with us. In addition, Providence Equity Partners could invest in entities that directly or indirectly compete with us, and entities in which Providence Equity Partners is invested may compete with us in the future," they continued.
"As a result, when conflicts arise between the interests of CEI or Providence Equity Partners and the interests of our other stockholders, these directors may not be disinterested. The representatives of CEI or Providence Equity Partners on our board, by the terms of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, are not required to offer us any corporate opportunity of which they become aware and could take any such opportunity for themselves or offer it to other companies in which they have an investment, unless such opportunity is expressly offered to them solely in their capacity as our directors," officials went on to say.
Editor's Note: For more details about AutoTrader's IPO, including its growth strategy and latest financial performance, keep watch of updates from sister publication Auto Remarketing.
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