June 3, 2014 — Internet Brands, the parent company to CarsDirect.com and AutoData Solutions, was acquired today by the private equity group KKR for $1.1 billion.
JMI Equity and Hellman & Friedman have owned Internet Brands since 2010 when they paid $640 million to take the company private.
CEO Bob Brisco, who has run the company since the fall of 2000, and his management team are minority investors with the new ownership group and will continue to manage Internet Brands.
The company was founded as CarsDirect in 1998 by current TrueCar Chairman and CEO Scott Painter. It was one of the many early Internet ventures spawned by Idealabs which was established by Bill Gross in 1996.
CarsDirect later changed its name to Internet Brands as it began adding new sites such as ApartmentsRatings.com and Lawyer.com. It went public in 2007.
There likely won’t be any radical changes to CarsDirect or Internet Brand’s other sites, nor will KKR break the company up.
Internet Brands will venture into other sectors and probably will add to its portfolio of websites. It has been fairly quiet the last several years with little advertising and minimal PR efforts and that likely will continue.