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Boat-buying Web sites change hands and now part of TraderOnline group and now part of TraderOnline group

Two of the recreational marine industry’s largest Internet operations are poised to get even bigger with the acquisition of and its affiliate by Trader Publishing Co.

Trader Publishing Co., headquartered in Norfolk, Va., is owned equally by Cox Enterprises Inc. and Landmark Communications Inc. Its Web sites serve buyers and sellers in the new and used vehicle and vessel marketplace, including Trader also owns more than 700 print publication titles, including Soundings, SoundingsTrade Only, Boat Trader and Yacht Trader.

The deal, announced Sept. 28, brings under one umbrella the industry’s largest Internet boats-for-sale databases. Terms of the purchase weren’t disclosed.

“Acquiring these successful online products and service businesses gives us a tremendous opportunity to increase the value we provide to the professional marine community,” says Nick Petsos, general manager of

Lake Forest, Ill.-based Inc., which includes the www. and www.yacht sites, provides marketing services to original equipment manufacturers, dealers, brokers and service companies throughout the marine industry. It has the exclusive Internet endorsements of both the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Marine Retailers Association of America.

“The unique character of Yacht allows us to invest in expanding and enhancing the services provided to the brokerage community, while the leadership position of and its relationships with its boatbuilder and dealer customer base will enable us to deliver more services to the new-boat industry,” says Petsos.

Petsos says there will be no disruption in operations or changes in service to and He says both will continue to operate with autonomy. co-founder Paul Rabe, who served as its president and CEO, has left the company, according to Petsos and spokesman James Nolan.

Nolan says had been owned by a group of venture capitalists who specialize in starting up and growing new companies. Once those companies have matured in their respective markets, the venture capitalists tend to sell them, he says.