Dealer software giant CDK Global Inc. has agreed to sell its digital marketing business to Ansira Partners Inc., a marketing agency owned by private equity investors.
The Hoffman Estates, Ill., company said Thursday that it signed a definitive agreement with Ansira to sell the digital marketing business, which includes dealership advertising and websites. Ansira has several offices in the U.S. and abroad and is a subsidiary of private equity firm Advent International.
CDK's digital marketing business was earmarked for sale for nearly eight months. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. CDK said the transaction is expected to close in the first half of this year.
"We believe that Ansira is the right partner to continue growing the strong technology platform and skilled management team of our digital marketing business," CDK CEO Brian Krzanich said in a statement. "We remain fully committed to our digital marketing business customers, and we will ensure a seamless and uninterrupted transition through the completion of the sale."
CDK did not disclose the number of multiple prospective buyers for the business, which the company last year said it planned to shed to focus on its core business, including dealership management systems. Ansira was chosen because it has experience with automotive clients and can expand on CDK's digital solutions, CDK said.
"We know that brands must reach customers in that 'last mile' to drive the greatest success, so it was clear to us that Ansira's footprint in marketing services and their automotive industry expertise, coupled with the user-friendly platform of the digital marketing business, will provide an exceptional offering for our collective clients and their customers," Alan Herrick, an Advent operating partner and chairman of Ansira's board, said in a statement.
CDK's digital business was affected by General Motors' decision last year to allow more preferred website providers for its dealers starting in 2020. CDK had been GM's exclusive preferred provider. CDK has been winding down its digital marketing business, which contributed to a smaller profit in the most recent quarter.