ADESA (Auto Dealers Exchange Services of America) doesn't sell cars, it sells fleets of cars. The company offers used vehicle redistribution services to automakers, lessors, and dealers in North America. ADESA operates nearly 70 whole car (vs. salvage car) auction sites and an online service, OPENLANE; it also offers such ancillary services as logistics, inspections, titling, reconditioning, and settlement administration. The company collects fees from buyers and sellers on each auction and from extra services. ADESA works alongside Automotive Finance Corp. (AFC), which offers dealer floorplan financing, and auto salvage auctioneer Insurance Auto Auctions (IAA) as part of holding company KAR Auction Services.
In fiscal 2011 (ends December) ADESA's operating revenues declined 5% from the prior year, marking its largest decrease in a consecutive three-year slump. Year-over-year operating profit fell more than 20%. Although KAR Auction Services posted an increase on gains achieved through AFC and IAA, ADESA's results, which account for more than half of its parent's operating revenues, slowed the group's momentum.
ADESA is taking a hit from supply shortages experienced by the North American used vehicle auction industry, which are driven largely by volatile new vehicle sales, lease originations, and repossessions. Despite a decrease in the number of used vehicles sold, revenue per car increased slightly thanks to incremental income from fees and favorable Canadian exchange rates.
ADESA represents more than 20% of the North American used vehicle auction market (second only to rival Manheim, which has approximately 45% to 50% market share). The company plans to rebound by increasing the number of dealer vehicles sold at its auctions, and selectively acquiring smaller, less geographically diverse competitors.
Along these lines, ADESA acquired OPENLANE in October 2011 in order to take advantage of the increasing use of the Internet to purchased wholesale vehicles. OPENLANE, which provides remarketing services to ADESA's customer base in the US and Canada, opens the way to build sales volume while giving sellers a better price through greater buyer participation. The deal followed ADESA's purchase of six used vehicle auctions from The Premier Auction Group in late 2010. The additions boosted ADESA's presence in Michigan, Tennessee, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
While ADESA had no acquisitions in 2009, it made several purchases in 2008. It enhanced its Internet solutions that year when it acquired Live Global Bid (LGB), a provider of Internet-based auction software and services. ADESA also took over Dent Demon, a paintless dent repair service in Indiana. The purchase added to ADESA's existing reconditioning operations, which include body work, detailing, glass repair, light mechanical work, tire and key replacement, and upholstery repair.
Founded in 1989, ADESA was acquired in 2007 by a group of private equity firms, including Kelso & Company, GS Capital Partners, ValueAct Capital, and Parthenon Capital. Following the $3.7 billion purchase, the group integrated ADESA's operations with those of Insurance Auto Auctions (a former rival of ADESA) under the KAR umbrella. – less