Apax buys Trader Corporation for $745m

The European private equity heavyweight is expected to come to market this year with its next fund, reportedly targeting as much as €9bn.

Apax Partners has agreed to buy Trader Corporation from Yellow Media for $745 million. The assets being sold as part fo the deal include Canadian online automotive company AutoTrader.ca and approximately a 30 percent stake in US and Canada-focused digital marketing service provider Dealer Dot Com.

Partner at Apax Mitch Truwit said in a statement the online marketing industry is “a sector that Apax knows very well thanks to our existing investments in Trader Media Group in the UK, Bankrate in the US and SouFun in China”.

Autotrader.ca has twice the used car inventory of its nearest competitor, according to president of Trader Corporation Doug Clarke. Apax was advised by RBC, PricewaterhouseCoopers, McKinsey & Company and Alix Partners.

Apax will reportedly launch its next fundraising effort this year targeting about €9 billion. The firm will join a host of other European buyout shops looking to raise billion-plus pools of capital this year including BC Partners and EQT Partners. Apax’s latest fund is an €11.2 billion 2007 vintage fund understood to be at least 65 percent invested.

Since January 2010, Apax funds have invested in 10 companies across the firm’s five core sectors and have returned €3.3 billion from investments in businesses such as Tommy Hilfiger, Qualitest Pharmaceuticals and Spectrum Holding Company.