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Dealertrack Technologies to be acquired by Cox Automotive for $4 billion

Dealertrack Technologies Inc., one of Long Island's largest

Dealertrack Technologies Inc., one of Long Island's largest software makers, is being acquired by Cox Automotive Inc. of Atlanta for $4 billion, the companies announced Monday. Credit: Newsday

Dealertrack Technologies Inc., one of Long Island's largest and fastest-growing software makers, is being acquired by the owner of Kelley Blue Book for $4 billion, marking the latest takeover in the shrinking universe of local public companies.

Cox Automotive Inc. of Atlanta will pay $63.25 per share in cash for the Lake Success company, which makes programs for auto dealers, the companies said Monday. The deal marks the second multibillion-dollar acquisition of a Long Island company in the past month.

"After careful and thoughtful analysis . . . we concluded that this transaction provides our stockholders with the opportunity to tender their shares at a price that recognizes the superior value of Dealertrack's industry partnerships," Dealertrack chief executive Mark O'Neil said in a statement.

News of the acquisition sent Dealertrack shares soaring 58 percent, to close at $62.98.

The pending sale continues a trend of Long Island losing its public companies. More than 30 local businesses with stock traded on major exchanges have either transferred their headquarters elsewhere, shut down or been acquired since 2007.

They include CA Technologies, which moved its headquarters to Manhattan in 2014, and OSI Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired in 2010 by Astellas of Japan. Last month, Pall Corp. of Port Washington reached a deal to be acquired for $13.8 billion by Danaher Corp. of Washington, D.C.

Dealertrack, founded in 2000 in Garden City, is among the biggest successes in the effort to attract and grow high-tech companies here.

The company has more than tripled its annual revenue, to $854.4 million, since 2010. Analysts predict 2015 sales will rise to more than $1.097 billion. And last fall, Dealertrack broke ground on a 233,000-square-foot headquarters in North Hills and agreed to add more than 350 jobs in exchange for $12 million in state tax breaks and grants.

Dealertrack co-president Raj Sundaram said the acquisition does not change the company's plans to move into the facility in 2017.

Cox spokesman David Doolittle said there are no plans to reduce Dealertrack's workforce, which includes 4,600 people, with nearly 550 on Long Island.

"We do not anticipate any layoffs, and Dealertrack will remain headquartered in Lake Success," Doolittle said.

Dealertrack's success has followed the push over the last 15 years to automate every step of the paperwork-heavy process of buying a car.

The company began by selling programs for dealers to process loan applications. It has steadily expanded by buying other software makers that produce programs to track inventory, register titles, verify customers' identification, administer liens and more.

Cox Automotive, a subsidiary of privately held Cox Enterprises, makes a variety of marketing and software programs for the automotive industry. Aside from Kelley Blue Book, its brands include Autotrader and Manheim.

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