CARMEL - The chief executive officer of Carmel-based KAR Auction Services Inc. (NYSE: KAR) says today's acquisition of Belgium-based CarsOnTheWeb continues KAR's transformation into a global technology company. Jim Hallett says the deal for the online auction company also ensures a "strong international presence as we continue to grow beyond North America." KAR already has a presence in the United Kingdom after acquiring two UK-based companies over the last few years.

KAR announced the CarsOnTheWeb acquisition this morning. The deal is worth 91 million euros in cash, which is the equivalent of about $102 million. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019. Depending on certain terms and performance metrics, the deal could involve an additional 65 million euros, or the equivalent of about $73 million.

Hallett says the acquisition gives KAR an anchor in Europe. CarsOnTheWeb has operations in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Span. It sells vehicles in more than 50 countries.

KAR is growing at home as well. Last year, the company announced a headquarters expansion in Carmel that is expected to create 400 jobs by 2020. The $80 million campus will ultimately house about 1,500 workers. KAR plans to move its workers into the 13-acre campus during the second half of 2019. The new HQ will be home to innovation, technology and data-as-a-service divisions, as well as be home of its TradeRev mobile app-based auction subsidiary, a business it first invested in four years ago.