TRADING website Autotrade-mail.com has been acquired by 2nd Byte for a rumoured £12m.
Car Dealer can exclusively reveal the website – started nine years ago by Marcus Kelland – has sold to the website design firm, which is ultimately owned by Trader Media Group.
Autotrade-mail’s 4,500 dealer members across the UK can buy and sell cars in a trade-only environment in real time.
Former car dealer Kelland, pictured, will stay on as part of the agreement until December, when he’ll take a well earned break in Australia. Current director Kevin Watson will stay on indefinitely as operations director.
Although Watson would not comment on the huge sale price, he said the firm was certainly ‘worth it’.
‘It is true we have been acquired by 2nd Byte, part of the Trader Media Group,’ Watson told Car Dealer. ‘We’re now part of one of Europe’s largest media companies and can enjoy all the benefits that go with it.
‘This is great news for our current members as it gives us access to thousands of 2nd Byte’s customers and all the cars they bring with it.
‘We’re a small, but passionate team here and that will not change. Marcus has done a tremendous job over the last nine years and will be enjoying a well earned rest in Oz when he leaves us in December, once he’s seen everything through smoothly.’
Watson said he believed the acquisition by 2nd Byte formed a superb ‘marriage’ and wanted to highlight the fact nothing would change for existing customers. The deal went through in June.
Andy Whitehair, managing director of 2nd Byte, added: ‘With the current shortage of quality used stock in the market, dealers are looking at new avenues to help source cars for their forecourts.
‘Autotrade-mail.com is a great product with a well deserved reputation in the industry for bringing trade buyers and sellers together not only to get the deal done but also to maximise profit opportunities.
‘The business will continue to be run on a standalone basis by the existing management team.’
EXCLUSIVE by James Baggott