Car dealers, News Ltd to form online car ad JV

Car dealers including Automotive Holdings (ASX:AHE), APE Eagers (ASX:APE) and Trivett Classic are finalising plans for an online car listing JV with News Ltd

A group of car dealers plan to team up to form a new online car sales listing joint venture with News Limited.

The consortium of dealers, including Automotive Holdings Group (ASX:AHE), AP Eagers (ASX:APE) and Trivett Classic, will together own a 50 per cent stake in the joint venture.

Both Automotive Holdings and AP Eagers have both disclosed that they intend their individual stakes to each be 7.5 per cent.

The consortium will be expanded to “include a significant portion of Australia's motor dealership industry,” AP Eagers said in a statement.

The venture will use News Limited's Carsguide brand and the publisher's existing marketing support assets.

Its members hope to develop the brand to become a viable alternative to industry leader (ASX:CRZ).

The deal is currently non-binding, but the companies are expected to sign final agreements next month. The new Carsguide is then expected to become operational in the second half of 2011.

APE shares stayed flat in Thursday's trading at $11.800, AHE fell 1.12 per cent to $2.650 while CRZ declined 3.52 per cent to $4.930.