Landmark Communications Inc. and Cox Enterprises have finalized the deal to split the assets of Trader Publishing Co., according to the Virginian Pilot, Norfolk.
The companies had been partners in Trader Publishing, the classified advertising firm based in Norfolk which owned hundreds of publications, including RV Trader.
As a result of the transaction, Dominion Enterprises was formed and will operate the classified advertising websites and publications in the recreational vehicle, apartment, employment, real estate, boat, motorcycle, and heavy truck arenas.
Cox, based in Atlanta, retained ownership of Trader’s automotive classified advertising business that includes Auto Trader.
Trader Publishing evolved from Landmark’s purchase of a small classified advertising publication in Winston-Salem, N.C., more than 20 years ago. While Landmark was buying up similar publications around the country, Cox was doing the same. The companies combined their classified ventures into a single company in 1991.
“We are very excited about the opportunity,” said Sandy Schwartz, president of Auto Trader. “We think we will have a great partnership going forward with Dominion.”
The future of Trader had been in limbo since Landmark Chairman Frank Batten Jr. announced Landmark’s intent to sell its stake last September. Cox had first right of refusal, and a deadline, thought to be in early December, passed without an announcement.
Based on the contract between the two private media companies, if Cox chose not to buy Landmark’s stake, all of Trader could have been put up for sale.
In March, the partners announced a plan to split the assets and said the deal would be finalized by the end of May. That deadline came and went, however, as lawyers worked to put the agreement on paper.