Cox Enterprises Inc., the media holding company, and London-based buyout firm Apax Partners LLP, are interested in bidding for auto-sales website Cars.com, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The group of newspaper publishers that’s working with Moelis & Co. to explore a sale of Cars.com hasn’t formally solicited bids for the business yet, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The site, visited by more than 11 million potential car buyers a month, may fetch $2.5 billion in a sale, one of the people said.
Cars.com, which was started in 1998, lets user check prices, compare models and read reviews of auto dealers. The business would fit with the AutoTrader.com websites that Cox Enterprises and Apax already own. Apax is the majority owner of Trader Media Group, which operates AutoTrader in the U.K. Cox Enterprises controls the e-commerce business in the U.S.