I was hoping to announce the name of the buyer for CDK Global’s Digital Marketing Business before NADA but the announcement was held off until today. Initial speculation on who would be the buyer was the topic of conversation among industry peers after the announcement was made last June to spin off the websites and digital marketing assets of CDK Global. In recent weeks, the speculation died down because of other M&A activity covered by The Banks Report and new products announcements for NADA which was held this week in Las Vegas.

Let me dispel some of the common rumors:

  • The new buyer is not an existing website provider in the automotive industry. The CDK digital marketing technology will be enhanced and offered to dealers with new features and service offerings. The rumor that that website business would be shut down is false.
  • The new buyer is a global private equity firm with deep experience in the automotive vertical. They specialize in data-driven online marketing and customer loyalty technology. Rumors were flying that a smaller buyer was picking up the CDK assets at a bargain basement price.
  • The purchase will not disrupt the executive leadership, sales, and service teams that support auto dealers.  Rumors were flying that massive layoffs were planned and that all employees would have to re-apply for their jobs.
  • The delayed announcement for the sale did not hurt CDK Global position in the new GM website program. Industry pundits were predicting doom and gloom for CDK’s market share, but I called it nearly perfectly months ago. The new GM website program’s launch date has been pushed back again to later this summer with little clarification which also helps CDK win back former customers.

Who Is The Buyer?

So, who is the buyer? Ansira Partners. According to the official press release:

“Ansira Partners, Inc. (“Ansira”), a subsidiary of Advent International (“Advent”), one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. CDK Global made the decision to sell all the assets of the Company’s Digital Marketing Business including all advertising solutions and website services.”

Ansira has been acquiring companies over the past few years. According to Owler, here are some of their acquisitions:

Learn More About The Future of CDK Digital

I will be interviewing Jen Cole later today, who will head up the CDK Digital Marketing team at Ansira. If you would like to receive a copy of the interview on my podcast, send me an email: brian@brianpasch.com. The podcast will be made available to the public by Monday morning.

Jen Cole will also be speaking at the 2020 Digital Marketing Strategies Conference (DMSC) in May and we will be discussing the future for their team on a main stage panel.