Carfax Faces Major Challenges as Polk Considers Sale

- March 7, 2013

R.L. Polk & Co., own­er of the used-car shop­ping tool Car­fax, is said to be putting itself up for sale, but no deal is made as yet.

Are there impli­ca­tions for deal­ers with pos­si­ble sale of R.L. Polk?

If a deal is reached, the fam­i­ly-owned provider of auto­mo­tive data for car com­pa­nies and con­sumers would change hands for the first time in about 140 years. The com­pa­ny could decide not to make a sale.

Polk could fetch around $1 bil­lion in a sale, a per­son famil­iar with the mat­ter esti­mat­ed. On Thurs­day the company’s board met to dis­cuss the sale, and Polk recent­ly informed employ­ees of the process, the per­son said.

The company’s oper­a­tions go beyond Car­fax. Polk pro­vides research, fore­cast­ing and con­sult­ing for the glob­al auto indus­try. In the U.S., Polk gath­ers reg­is­tra­tion data from every state and pro­vides detailed sta­tis­tics on the types of cars peo­ple buy.

That reg­is­tra­tion data could make Polk attrac­tive to oth­er auto-research ser­vices, such as J.D. Pow­er & Asso­ciates Inc. and Auto­da­ta par­ent CarsDirect.com Inc.

Car­fax is Polk’s best-known con­sumer brand. For a fee, it pro­vides the acci­dent and dam­age his­to­ry of indi­vid­ual vehi­cles.

 

 

 

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