CDK Global pivoted its operations this week by selling a segment to Ansira Partners, an independent global marketing services and solutions company.
On Thursday, the company announced it has signed a definitive agreement to sell all assets of the company’s digital marketing business — including all advertising solutions and website services — to Ansira Partners.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed by either company.
According to a news release, CDK Global selected Ansira following a thorough process that identified and evaluated proposals from multiple potential buyers for the sale of the digital marketing business. Executives highlighted that Ansira has an extensive background in the auto vertical and will bring their expertise to further build out the solutions of the digital marketing business, while also implementing the industry-leading technology and services of the digital marketing business to drive more hyper-local opportunities for customers.
“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 Global president and chief executive officer Brian Krzanich said.
“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,” Krzanich continued.
The proposed transaction is expected to close in the first half of this year, subject to customary closing conditions.
“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,” said Alan Herrick, an operating partner with Advent International and chairman of Ansira’s board of directors.
“The acquisition will allow the CDK digital marketing business to continue on its accelerated path of product and services innovation, as well as to deliver highly responsive and consistent customer service, while enriching Ansira’s local marketing activation offerings,” Herrick continued.
“The acquisition of the CDK digital marketing business will provide an opportunity for Ansira to further extend its efforts in local marketing activation solutions for automotive clients, leveraging the great depths of their dealer solutions,” Herrick went on to say.
“What we know for certain is that success in marketing for brands greatly relies on them delivering in that ‘last mile’ for their customers,” he added. “With the CDK digital marketing business, Ansira will provide another solution for clients to reach their customers locally, in a seamless and relevant way.”
The CDK digital marketing business uses powerful proprietary websites and advertising technology to improve the customer experience and drive more than 83 million monthly unique visitors across a multi-tiered automotive landscape. Aimed at improving the customer experience, the digital marketing business offerings include websites, advertising, digital consulting, earned marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and social product lines.
In addition, the newly refreshed CDK digital marketing business platform can deliver new user features and improved dealer usability.
“While we continue on our accelerated path of product and services innovation, we will be able to tap into Ansira’s extensive experience in automotive, its world-class marketing services, and creative, to improve our dealer marketing effectiveness and the insights we bring to the industry,” said Jen Cole, senior vice president at CDK Digital.
“Our shared passion with Ansira for digital marketing technology and services will help drive even more value for our clients and their customers,” Cole continued. “We will continue to bring clients industry-leading platform innovations to help them compete in local markets and realize greater returns on their marketing investments.”
The CDK digital marketing business has more than 175 representatives in the field to call on dealers in the market; a footprint designed to provide a responsive and consistent quality of service.
In addition, the company has a team of almost 200 employees in India focused on operations and engineering, which expands Ansira’s global presence.
“The CDK Digital Marketing Business will amplify Ansira’s extensive and industry-recognized expertise in the auto vertical, driving customers to strategically leverage hyper-local opportunities as a unique selling point that can help drive growth and build and maintain customer brand loyalty,” Ansira chief executive officer Jay Dettling said.
“The acquisition solidifies Ansira’s depth and scale of local marketing activation solutions, and utilizing its newly-refreshed and ever-evolving platform, as well as their agents in the field, will provide our clients with another solution to drive in-market effectiveness,” Dettling went on to say.
Ansira is backed by Advent International, one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors, with deep expertise in the business and financial services sector.
Ropes & Gray is serving as legal counsel to Advent in the transaction.