DAVID BARKHOLZ

DealerTrack plans to raise funds for acquisitions

David Barkholz is a staff reporter for Automotive News
DealerTrack Inc. CEO Mark O'Neil plans to rebuild the company's acquisitions war chest with a debt offering this quarter that will prepare the dealer-software firm to join what he believes will be a very active year for mergers in the industry.

O'Neil said DealerTrack is eying a couple of acquisitions and seeing another dozen more prospectuses of IT companies looking to be bought.

Like many of the big dealer IT companies, DealerTrack wants to round out its product offerings with select acquisitions that can be financed with low-cost debt. DealerTrack dramatically depleted a $185 million cash stockpile this month when it paid $131 million for triVIN Holdings Inc., a provider of auto title management and vehicle registration services for dealers and lenders.

The improved business climate also has both suitors and sellers more open to making deals, he said.

O'Neil wouldn't say how much DealerTrack plans to raise with the debt offering. But it will be enough to fund the acquisitions that O'Neil has in mind.

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