COVID-19 Update: Ansira Finalizes Its Acquisition of CDK’s Digital Marketing Arm

By Desiree Homer

Back in February, CDK Global, Inc announced that it had signed an agreement to sell the business to Ansira Partners, Inc., a marketing agency with private equity investor ownership. The precise details of the sale were not released at the time, and with the onset of COVID-19, the deal seemed to have been placed on hold. Ansira has recently released an update, sharing the acquisition is now finalized, and it’s a sign that business is once again, moving forward.

Terms of the CDK Sale

CDK said its global marketing business is now folding into Ansira’s portfolio and is being renamed to Sincro. In addition to its existing service offerings of digital marketing tools and websites, the rebranded company will now also be providing dealership-focused digital consulting, search engine optimization, earned marketing, and user-friendly features in the expanded toolbox. Any dealers currently working with CDK, will be automatically transitioned to Sincro and Ansira family.

Why this is a Smart Move for Ansira

“The digital marketing business is an industry-leading and customer-focused organization that will continue to grow,” according to CDK CEO, Brian Krzanich in a recent statement. While he goes on to share his appreciation for the success of the digital marketing business, it may be an even more pivotal add to the Ansira portfolio of services. In fact, Ansira aspired to expand its automotive segment, more specifically eyeing opportunities to partner with General Motors. Its current automotive partnerships include a longstanding relationship with Honda. This acquisition of CDK is being viewed as a strategic move for Ansira, considering General Motors is one of CDK’s top OEM clients. Many suggest dealer customers can expect enhancements and better solutions, especially in integrating Tier One (OEM national branding), Tier Two (regional advertising efforts), along with Tier Three (local dealership levels.)

CDK’s Setback that Primed It for Acquisition

While CDK has historically maintained a successful trajectory within the digital marketing sector, it had recently experienced a few road bumps. The website business felt the setback last year when General Motors engaged in a 15-year partnership with three other vendors,, DealerOn, and Dealer Inspire. As a result, CDK moved its digital ad and website offerings in a category of discontinued services and began priming the segment for eventual sale. It was a division of the company’s portfolio that had been originally acquired back in 2011 when it bought The Cobalt Group, an automotive internet leader at the time, for $400 million.

 Many of the acquisitions in talks prior to COVID-19 conditions were temporarily suspended as companies redirected their attention to the public health crisis. But this recent announcement of a deal reaching finalization may be an indication that the industry is once again, forward-facing. In a must-listen interview with Cliff Banks, the founder and President of the Banks Report, Dave Cantin discusses the impacts of layoffs, and implications for investors. Tune into to the Dealer News Today podcast to hear this conversation about the potential value landscape for post-Coronavirus.