Gannett has closed on its previously announced acquisition of the remaining 73% interest in Classified Ventures LLC, which owns Cars.com, for $1.8 billion. Tribune Media, McClatchy, Graham Holdings Company and A. H. Belo sold their stakes in the auto web retailer to Gannett. Tribune owned nearly 28% and, after tax proceeds, expects to get $424 million from the deal.
“We are thrilled to be the sole owner of Cars.com, a business that we know extremely well, and one with terrific growth characteristics,” said Gracia Martore, president and CEO of Gannett. “Since its inception in 1998, Cars.com has evolved from a business that simply supported the publishing markets of its owners into a strong, stand-alone digital business serving approximately 20,000 dealers and generating estimated pro forma 2014 revenue of approximately $535 million.”