Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

PureCars Sold to Private Equity and Original Investor

May 6, 2019 — Following a three and a half-year stint with Raycom Media, PureCars has been sold to private equity firm Diversis Capital and Stage 1 Ventures, its original investor.

Raycom Media acquired the automotive marketing technology firm in October 2015 for more than $125 million. But as part of its January sale to Gray Television for $3.65 billion, Raycom spun off PureCars and CNHI, a separate division, to its shareholders at the same time prior to the sale announced last week.

PureCars has been on the market since late last year following the announcement of the pending Gray/Raycom purchase. A deal had been rumored to have been close for at least two months and finally broke late last week.

Stage 1 Ventures was PureCars first institutional investor in 2012 and led the sale to Raycom in 2015. The deal is Diversis’ first in the automotive retail space.

It’s the 20th deal for automotive retail vendors this year and the eighth in April.

Chatter on the street points to a vibrant second half of the year for M&A activity. TBR is tracking numerous deals that are currently in play and likely will be completed in the next few months. Although, it does appear the multiples being offered are not what the industry was seeing a year ago. That dynamic has delayed — and even has killed — some deals. And that trend doesn’t appear to be letting up at the moment.

Also announced last week is Thoma Bravo’s pending acquisition of AutoData from Internet Brands (KKR).

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