Apax Partners to Sell About $1.2 Billion Auto Trader Stake

  • Sale by largest investor of about 23 percent share of website
  • Pricing around 365 pence represents 5.7 percent discount

Apax Partners, the largest shareholder of Auto Trader Group Plc, is selling an about 23 percent stake in the online classifieds site, stock with a value of about $1.2 billion that represents most of the private equity company’s holding.

Apax entities will sell as many as 233.6 million ordinary shares in Auto Trader, according to a statement Tuesday. The private equity company will retain about a 1.8 percent holding.

The shares are being sold at 360 pence to 375 pence each in an offering expected to close Tuesday night, according to terms sent to investors by bankers at Deutsche Bank AG and Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch. Orders below 365 pence are unlikely to get shares, according to the terms.

At 365 pence, the stake would be valued at about 853 million pounds ($1.2 billion). That represents a discount of 5.7 percent to Auto Trader’s closing price of 387.1 pence in London on Tuesday. The stock has declined 13 percent this year.

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