CDK Global Inc. plans to sell its international business to private equity firm Francisco Partners in a deal valued at $1.45 billion.

The Hoffman Estates, Ill., dealership management system giant said Monday the sale is expected to close in the third quarter of its 2021 fiscal year, the three-month period ending March 31, pending regulatory approval.

The company said in a regulatory filing it will use the proceeds to focus on its North American operations, which include DMS and other software for automotive dealerships and adjacent businesses in the U.S. and Canada, and repay debt.

“With this transaction, we can now focus on executing the next phase of our growth journey and spotlight our attention on our North America business,” CDK CEO Brian Krzanich said in a statement.

“CDK has made significant progress over the last two years in strengthening and expanding our core business to be customer-centric and a leader in technology for our dealers, OEMs and partners and we have seen the positive results of our investment efforts. We are now well positioned to expand our activities and create new revenue streams with even stronger growth prospects.”

Francisco Partners is a private equity firm with offices in San Francisco, New York and London. It specializes in working with technology companies.

The firm will buy 100 percent of CDK’s international business, which has operations in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South Africa, CDK said.

“The automotive retail experience is undergoing dramatic change,” Petri Oksanen, a partner at Francisco Partners, said in a news release. “We believe [CDK international] is uniquely placed to support this transformation in these regions, and that by becoming a standalone company it will better be able to execute on this exciting opportunity.”

CDK said selling the international segment will allow the company to focus on its core North American operations with an infusion of capital and flexibility for future investments. The company said in a regulatory filing it expects to receive $1.3 billion in after-tax cash proceeds from the deal and expects roughly $35 million in costs for outside services to assist with the transaction.

“While we believe the international business is a great asset and are very pleased with the compelling valuation, it largely operated independently, with specific technology, sales and operations tailored to the International markets,” Joe Tautges, CDK’s COO and interim CFO, said in a statement.

Tautges said CDK will share more details about how the company will use the proceeds of the international business sale when it releases its fiscal second-quarter earnings results. CDK will classify its international unit as discontinued operations in its second quarter, and said it will withdraw and revise its financial guidance estimates for the 2021 fiscal year.



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