The Montreal-based Yellow Pages Income Fund, best known for producing phone books, is spending $35-million to buy a 20-per-cent stake in U.S.-based Dealer.com. The deal values Dealer.com at $175 million. Yellow Pages has the right to acquire more of the company.

Privately owned Dealer.com is used by car sellers, including large dealer groups, to manage and list inventory online, and as a clearinghouse for new and used vehicles.

Yellow Pages CEO Mark Tellier saw an opportunity with used cars. Consumers may gravitate toward used or previously leased cars in the economic downturn, Tellier said.

“People have basically pushed back their buying decision. But you can only push back that buying decision for so long,” Tellier added in an interview with Canada’s The Globe and Mail.

Yellow Pages already runs automotive properties in Canada under the Trader Corp. brand.

The deal gives Yellow Pages a say over Dealer.com’s operations in Canada, as well the technology used to run the site.

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