Rumours began to circulate last night on Twitter that a deal had been struck for the number two online advertising portal – and now an official announcement has been made.
Manheim chief executive John Bailey said: ‘The acquisition of Motors.co.uk is a significant and important investment for us and it fits perfectly within our evolving portfolio of products, particularly as the digital marketplace becomes ever more influential.
‘We have been watching the online classified business here in the UK for some time and we’ve had a growing presence in this important market with our own sites All Approved Cars and, more recently, Carmony.
‘In the USA Manheim is by far the market leader, owning the US Autotrader.com which consistently lists over 2.7m vehicles. In just five years Motors.co.uk has built up a substantial presence and great reputation in the UK and the opportunity to acquire them has come at a perfect time for us, as we look to expand our services in this space.’
The amount paid by Manheim is undisclosed.
The company has announced that all Motors.co.uk employees will transfer to Manheim and the business will sit within its Manheim Retail Services area however there are no immediate plans to change the day to day operations.
In addition to Motors.co.uk the acquisition also includes the associated businesses of automotive web and photography specialist Auto Exposure, as well as Complete Automotive Solutions which provides customer contact management and showroom marketing products for retail dealers.
Motors.co.uk chief executive Garry Hobson added: ‘We are all extremely excited about being part of the world’s largest automotive services provider and, in particular, to have access to the online classified media expertise within USA Autotrader.com.
‘One of the first compelling opportunities will be to combine the Motors.co.uk used vehicle listings with those offered through Manheim’s portal, Carmony.
‘This should immediately create an available selection of over 230,000 retail quality vehicles for consumers to browse in a highly interactive online environment. For dealers and manufacturers it’s a great route into the private motorist and one which will be fully supported by an extensive range of value-added, consumer related marketing services.’