Canadian Internet conglomerate Yellow Media is selling its vertical media publishing business Trader Corporation to funds advised by Apax Partners for a total purchase price consideration of $745 million, payable in cash at closing.
Trader, formed in June 2006 with the integration of Classified Media Holdings and Trader Media and acquired by Yellow Media shortly thereafter, publishes approximately 160 publications and 22 websites covering four product verticals: automotive, real estate, general merchandise and employment. Its online properties attract close to 3.5 million unique visitors per month.
After the transaction is completed, Trader will continue to own and operate Canadian automotive and other online properties, including AutoTrader.ca, Autos.ca, AutoHebdo.net, and BuySell.com, as well as 74 related publications.
Trader will also retain its interest of approximately 30% in Dealer.com, the US digital solutions provider to the automotive dealer segment.
The real estate, employment and LesPAC.com businesses will continue to be owned and managed by Yellow Media.
Yellow Media expects to close the sale in June 2011, which is as usual subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions. Proceeds from the divestiture will be used by Yellow Media in part to reduce indebtedness and for ‘general corporate purposes’.
Marc P. Tellier, President and CEO of Yellow Media, commented:
“This divestiture is attractive for our shareholders and will allow us to deploy capital in our core business, helping accelerate our digital transformation while further strengthening our capital structure. As Canada’s number one Internet company, we want to focus our efforts on the acceleration of our digital transformation via our Yellow Pages 360 Solution.”
TD Securities and Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisors to Yellow Media.