RealTime IT News

Investors Drop $280 Million into CarsDirect.com

Leading automotive e-tailer CarsDirect.com received a boost in the form of $280 million Monday, resulting in one of the largest private equity investments in dot-com history.

All of the company's original corporate and institutional investors -- which include idealab!, idealab! Capital Partners, Primedia Ventures (PRM), Foundation Capital, Michael Dell's MSD Capital LP, and Goldman Sachs (GS) -- participated in this latest investment round.

New participants in the round include investment banking firms Morgan Stanley Dean Witter (MSDW) , Hambrecht & Quist (HQ), and E*O Investors LLC; strategic investments that include Oracle Corp. (ORCL) , Liberty Digital (LDIG) , TMCT Ventures and East Peak Partners LP; and investments from international partners Hikari Tsushin, and Soros Private Equity Partners LLC.

At the same time, the company announced that it has named Robert N. Brisco, formerly president, Universal Studios Hollywood, as its new chief executive officer, effective immediately. Scott Painter, founder and CEO, will become vice-chairman.

"The investors participating in this round of funding are a major endorsement of CarsDirect.com's strategy and will help us to aggressively pursue the company's business initiatives as well as deliver an unparalleled customer experience," said Bill Gross, co-founder of CarsDirect.com and a board member.

CarsDirect.com is the first nationwide online service that provides consumers a complete car buying experience -- from research, pricing, customization and financing to flatbed delivery of the car to a home or office.