AutoTrader Pockets $400 Million Before Going PublicS

That AutoTrader still exists in the post-Craigslist world may come as a surprise to some car shoppers. But the company is apparently alive and well, and will be going public, having just filed a $300 million IPO.

Prospective shareholders will, of course, be expected to pony up to buy shares, but the company announced that it will not pay dividends on those shares "for the foreseeable future."

For its part, Atlanta-based AutoTrader said that its refusal to pay dividends stems from creditor agreements that have a stranglehold on that kind of generosity. The company brings in about $1 billion per year, and private shareholders already got their payoff from increasing its longterm debt by about $400 million, but that means public investors won't see a dime until the company sorts out its debt.

Sneaky devils. Oh well, I like Craigslist better anyway. Maybe Joe Dirt will throw a few bucks into the kitty, though.

Photo credit: Associated Press