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Private equity group Apax sells (almost) its last Auto Trader stake

Time 2:16 pm, February 25, 2016

EUROPEAN private equity group Apax has sold most of its remaining stake in Auto Trader – and increased the value of its original investment significantly.

The 23.3 per cent stake raised £853 million in a deal completed yesterday – and took Apax’s ‘realised return’ on Auto Trader to £1.7 billion.

That return equates to 4.8 times the money it invested in the company since it bought an initial stake from the owner of The Guardian newspaper in 2007, according to a report in the Financial Times.


Apax first got involved with Auto Trader in 2007. At that time, the publication was valued at £1.35 billion, including debt – but its value rose to £1.75 billion in 2014, the year Apax acquired the remaining stake.

In 2013, Auto Trader closed its print edition, becoming an web-only service.

Apax has retained a 1.8 per cent stake in Auto Trader, reports the FT.

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Dave Brown's avatar

Dave, production editor on Car Dealer Magazine, is a journalist with more than 30 years' experience in the worlds of newspapers, magazines and public relations.

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