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Auctions pursue acquisitions, partnerships to build networks

KAR, Cox take different approaches to growth

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Cox Automotive and KAR Auction Services Inc., owners of the two largest U.S. auction groups, each want to grow and diversify in the face of a rapidly evolving industry.

But their approaches are quite different.

Take Cox, which got into the automotive realm with its acquisition of Manheim in 1968. The privately held Atlanta company’s automotive operations have exploded in size since 2010 thanks to major acquisitions, including the purchases of Kelley Blue Book, vAuto, Dealertrack and more.

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