Report: Kelley Blue Book up for sale

Article by Christian A., on September 10, 2010

Sources say that Kelley Blue Book, the California-based authority on used-car values, is for sale, according to a Financial Times report that was cited by a News York Times blog. The report comes from two unnamed bankers who claim to have knowledge about the potential sale.

One banker said that JPMorgan was hired to manage the sale while the other banker revealed that Kelley Blue Book has been valued at between $500 million and $1 billion.

It was in 1926 that the first edition of the Kelley Blue Book was published; however, founder Les Kelley had been producing a list of automobile values since 1918.

The book continued to be owned by the family until 2000. The Blue Book, which at first was published for auto dealers, started a consumer edition in 1993 and it had its Web site kbb.com in 1995.

According to The Financial Times, a third banker held the opinion that the decision to sell the company was influenced by a recent lack of traffic to the company's Web site and an increase in capital gains taxes.

Various reports claim that the top bidders for Kelly are AutoTrader.com, Kohlberg Kravitz Roberts & Co., eBay and Google. Kelley Blue Book and JPMorgan have yet to comment on this report. [via autonews - sub. required]

Topics: united states

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