NEW YORK (Bloomberg) -- TrueCar Inc. is considering selling shares in an initial public offering in the first half of 2014, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
The online auto-shopping service is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. on the IPO, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. TrueCar, based in Santa Monica, Calif., may seek a market value of as much as $1.5 billion in the share sale, one person said.
Auto sales are on pace for their best year since 2007, and shares of some auto dealership groups have reached record highs this year. AutoNation Inc. is up 24 percent in 2013, after touching a record in September, while Penske Automotive Group Inc. is up nearly 42 percent through Friday.
TrueCar helps consumers buy cars with pricing information from more than 6,000 dealerships. It was started in 2005 by Scott Painter, who also founded CarsDirect.com Inc. and was an early adviser to electric-car maker Tesla Motors Inc. The company turned down an offer to be acquired for more than $1 billion, Painter, who is also CEO of the company, said in a Nov. 19 interview in Los Angeles.
The company currently has 325 employees and is profitable, Painter said. He declined to name the potential buyer or provide the company's expected revenue this year.
He also declined to comment on the possibility of an IPO, as did spokesmen for TrueCar, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.
But in an Oct. 22 interview with Automotive News, he hinted at an IPO in 2014.
"I think given how we've done that, there's a tremendous amount of capital market interest in the business," he said. "And so we've got an exciting 2014 ahead of us, either way.
"And I think, you know, if we ultimately take on additional capital or we become a public company, I don't think anything changes other than we just will have the resources to grow bigger and faster."
TrueCar raised $200 million in September 2011 to fund acquisitions, Painter said at the time. TrueCar's shareholders include Andell Holdings LLC, GSV Capital Corp., GRP Partners and USAA Capital Corp, according to the company's Web site.
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