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Nine drives away from Carsales.com

Pimp my ride, for half a billion or so

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Australia’s old media continues to shuffle its new media plays, with TV network owner Nine Entertainment flogging its 49.1 per cent stake in Carsales.com for AU$565.5m.

A group of institutional and private investors have taken the vehicle trading site off the hands of Nine Entertainment subsidiary ACP Magazines. The sale comes ahead of an IPO planned later this year by majority owner, private equity firm CVC Asia Pacific.

Carsales MD Greg Roebuck said the transaction would not affect the day-to-day operations of the company.

"At an operational level, the ties between Carsales, ACP Magazines and Nine Entertainment have been minimal with all commercial arrangements held at arms' length," Roebuck said.

Carsales.com was founded by Roebuck in 1997 as a result of his disappointment with the inconsistency of information contained in traditional classified ads when he was trying to buy a car for his wife.

Since launch Carsales.com has listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and grown into 24 sites spanning automotive, marine, motorcycle, construction and equipment classifieds business. It has also recently launched its own media agency. At its interim results Carsales posted profits of $27.7m off the back of a strong rise in revenues. ®

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