July 31, 2014 1:41 PM ET


Company Overview of Classified Ventures, LLC

Company Overview

Classified Ventures, LLC provides digital marketing solutions in the automotive category. The company owns and operates Cars.com, a Website that helps shoppers to find new and used cars in the United States. Its Website features local and national automotive listings, photo galleries, videos, reviews, editorial content, blogs, and online calculators. The company was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

175 West Jackson

8th Floor

Chicago, IL 60604

United States

Founded in 1997





Key Executives for Classified Ventures, LLC

Chief Executive Officer and President
Age: 48
Chief Financial Officer
Senior Vice-President and President of Cars.com
Senior Vice President
Chief Legal Officer
Compensation as of Fiscal Year 2014.

Classified Ventures, LLC Key Developments

Investors Reportedly Eye Cars.com

Apax Partners LLP and Cox Enterprises, Inc. are interested in bidding for Cars.com of Classified Ventures, LLC, people with knowledge of the matter said. Classified Ventures is backed by five newspaper publishers: Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI); Graham Holdings Company (NYSE:GHC); Tribune Company (OTCPK:TRBA.A); Belo Corp.; and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI). 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. According to Bloomberg, a spokesman for Apax declined to comment on its interest in Cars.com. Elizabeth Elmstead, a spokeswoman for Cox Enterprises, said the company doesn’t comment on speculation. She added that the reports about Cars.com’s owners weighing a sale “confirms that the automotive services industry is an attractive, growing segment.” According to Bloomberg, a spokeswoman for Classified Ventures, the entity that owns Cars.com, didn’t respond to e-mail and phone messages seeking comment on the sale.

Classified Ventures Reportedly Puts Up For Sale Its Cars.com

Classified Ventures, LLC has put up for sale its Cars.com, reported Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the plans. The people said that a group of newspaper publishers has put the Cars.com online marketplace up for sale for as much as $3 billion, hoping to cash in on booming values for e-commerce sites. Moelis & Co., which is advising the Classified Ventures publishers consortium on the sale, already has begun discussions with potential bidders, which are expected to include private-equity firms and strategic investors, the people said. It is also possible that one of the publishers could raise its stake or buy out the others. According to two people, Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), for instance has signaled that it could raise or sell its stake, depending on the price. In addition to Gannett, the consortium's owners are Tribune Company (OTCPK:TRBA.A), A. H. Belo Corporation (NYSE:AHC), The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI) and Graham Holdings Company (NYSE:GHC). Cashing out now while the market is hot is of further appeal to Classified Ventures' owners amid concerns that Web giants eventually could emerge as competitive threats, the people familiar with the plans added.

Classified Ventures, LLC Names Michael Cronin as Vice President and Chief Legal Officer

Classified Ventures, LLC announced that Michael Cronin, a Senior Counsel at the company, has been named Vice President and Chief Legal Officer. As CLO, Cronin is responsible for oversight of all legal matters, including intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, employment law, IT licensing, corporate governance and compliance matters, as well as scaling the Legal department to the company's growing needs. As CLO, Cronin also joins the company's senior management team. Cronin joined the company six years ago and has worked as in-house counsel on sweepstakes evaluations, affiliate and channel sales agreements, employee relations, and acquisitions and divestitures. In addition, he guided cross-functional teams in designing and rolling out Cars.com and Apartments.com product initiatives, while managing legal risks proactively and helping to achieve time-to-market goals. Cronin has 14 years' experience with technology firms as in-house counsel. Prior to joining the company, he worked for Level 3 Communications Inc., as a senior staff attorney responsible for contract drafting, state and federal regulatory compliance, and customer/vendor dispute resolution.

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