U.S. firm buys TRADER


A major private equity U.S. investment firm has bought Canada’s TRADER Corporation for $1.57 billion.

The deal, announced July 1 but subject to customary closing conditions, will see Thoma Bravo likely complete the acquisition by the fourth quarter.

“We’re extremely impressed by TRADER’s growth into the largest and most trusted digital automotive marketplace in Canada,” said Holden Spaht, a managing partner at Thoma Bravo. “We look forward to partnering with Sebastian Baldwin and the entire TRADER team in their commitment to innovation and accelerating the use of TRADER’s current and future software solutions.”

TRADER Corporation is Canada’s largest digital automotive marketplace and provides marketing software solutions to Canadian automotive dealers.

Its market leading online properties – autoTRADER.ca, autoHEBDO.net and Autos.ca – attract a reported 13 million visits per month and are regularly relied upon by over 5,000 dealers, listing over 450,000 vehicles.

TRADER’s president and CEO Sebastian Baldwin said Thoma Bravo’s track record of success in working with and growing software solutions companies makes them the ideal partner for the next phase of TRADER’s growth.

“We look forward to working closely with them to continue strengthening TRADER’s market leading position.”

Executives at the private equity investment firm said it had spent several years evaluating the broader automotive technology sector and that the purchase of TRADER is an “excellent opportunity” to invest in a “mission-critical franchise we believe will benefit from the growth in automotive online media advertising.”

Thoma Bravo invests with a particular focus on application and infrastructure software and technology enabled services. The firm currently manages a series of private equity funds representing more than $16 billion of equity commitments.