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Software maker DealerTrack buys San Diego company

DealerTrack Holdings Inc., a Long Island manufacturer of computer programs for auto retailers, today said it had reached an agreement to acquire a smaller San Diego-based software-maker for $74 million.

The Lake Success-based company said it would acquire 1st Auto Transport Directory, Inc., which makes web-based programs for car dealers to manage vehicle transportation and shipping. The sale marks the company’s 19th acquisition since 2001 and is expected to close by the end of September.

"Similar to our other network solutions, the acquisition of 1st Auto Transport supports our mission to be the leader in driving efficiency in the automotive retailing industry,” DealerTrack chairman and chief executive Mark O'Neil said.

1st Auto Transport has 28 employees and was founded in 1997. The acquisition is DealerTrack's first foray into the business of programs to help auto retailers manage their shipping. The company’s current products help car dealers perform a variety of functions, including submitting credit applications and processing motor vehicle registrations.

DealerTrack announced the acquisition after the stock market closed Thursday. Shares were initially flat in after-hours trading. The company has a total stock-market value of roughly $1.2 billion.

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