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Australia's Carsales.com to buy 51% in U.S. firm Trader Interactive

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(Reuters) - Australian online auto classifieds firm Carsales.com Ltd said on Monday it acquired the remaining 51% stake in U.S.-based Trader Interactive for $809 million, a year after buying 49% in the Virginia-based online advertising company.

Carsales.com in May 2021 had paid $624 million for the stake it already owned in Trader Interactive. Monday's deal announcement now values Trader Interactive at an enterprise value of $1.90 billion. (https://bit.ly/3yotPlu)

Melbourne-based Carsales.com also said on Monday it will fund the buyout through an equity raising of A$1.21 billion ($839.14 million) at A$17.75 per new share — a 14.5% discount to its last closing price.

"The acquisition is expected to generate attractive financial returns for shareholders with low double-digit EPS accretion in year one," Carsales CEO Cameron McIntyre said.

Along with the deal announcement, Carsales.com also said performance in the first five months of fiscal 2022 "reflects continued healthy levels of demand" in the Australian automotive and non-automotive markets.

It expects adjusted net profit after tax of between A$194 million and A$196 million for fiscal 2022, higher than last year's A$153 million.

($1 = 1.4420 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Uttaresh.V)