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AutoTrader.com buys Kelley Blue Book

The firm will operate as a subsidiary of the Atlanta-based company and will remain in Irvine.

By Kristen SchottPublished: October 26, 2010 10:04 AM

AutoTrader.com plans to purchase Irvine-based Kelley Blue Book and its two sister firms for an undisclosed amount.

Under the deal, Kelley Blue Book will operate as a subsidiary of the Atlanta-based firm, and it will remain at its current headquarters.

The company's CEO and President Paul Johnson and current leadership team also will remain in place, according to AutoTrader.com, which plans to "maintain Kelley Blue Book's independent and unbiased position in the marketplace," according to a statement.

"Kelley Blue Book has a wonderful history as an iconic brand and trusted provider of vehicle information to generations of car buyers and sellers, and as we look into the future we believe together we can bring a host of new technologies and tools to market that will significantly improve the car-shopping process for consumers, and help auto dealers and manufacturers better capitalize on the fundamental efficiency advantages of the Internet," said AutoTrader.com President and CEO Chip Perry.

Kelley Blue Book provides consumers with new- and used-vehicle information. The company launched its website, kbb.com, in 1995. The site offers up-to-date pricing and values, as well as the Fair Purchase Price, which reports what buyers pay for their autos. Kelley Blue Book also owns CDMdata and CDM Dealer Services.

"The future that lies before us is full of potential," said Johnson. "We are proud of the Kelley Blue Book brand and our many accomplishments over the past 84 years. Becoming part of the AutoTrader.com family of companies will help us accelerate our growth in the vehicle valuation and consumer car shopping spaces. By working together, we can help all of our customers achieve their goals by providing best-in-class values, information, products and services."

AutoTrader.com is an online automotive marketplace and consumer information website. Since its inception in 1997, it has become a top marketing and sales resource for automakers, dealers and individuals.

"The Internet has become a primary marketing channel for auto dealers and manufacturers to reach and influence consumers during the vehicle purchase process," said Perry. "We believe our two companies are well positioned in this very competitive environment to help the industry adopt and embrace new tools and technologies that will drive higher levels of efficiency and profitability among both dealers and manufacturers over the next decade."

The transaction is slated to close by the end of the year.

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