Gannett Co. has agreed to buy out the other companies who own a stake in Cars.com for $1.8 billion, "a person familiar with the matter" told Bloomberg News.
Gannet Co. already owns a 27 percent stake of the website, which allows consumers to compare prices and car models and review dealerships, so Cars.com is valued at $2.5 billion, an anonymous source told Bloomberg. The company that owns Cars.com, Classified Ventures, is currently owned by four media companies in addition to Gannett: McClatchy Co., Tribune Media Co., AH Belo Corp. and Graham Holdings Co. As part of the deal, these four companies "will continue to sell advertising in their respective regions" according to the anonymous source, which has dragged down the valuation from the initial $3 billion target.
The news follows Classified Ventures sale of its Apartments.com business in April to CoStar for $585 million. Shares in Gannett were up 4.4 percent yesterday, to $34.32.