The largest and second largest auction chains in the U.S. are merging with Manheim Auc-tions'$1 billion cash purchase of ADT Automotive.

Manheim, owned by Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises, Inc., runs more than 80 auctions. The 28-auction ADT group, head-quartered in Nashville, TN, was a division of Tyco International Ltd., which says it sold the auction business because it did not 'fit well' with its four core business lines.

In recent months, Tyco stock has been experiencing heavy sales because of investor concerns over the firm's accounting practices. Tyco stock closed at $39.13 a share on the New York Stock Exchange Jan. 24, down from a 52-week high of $53.87.

"Our agreement with ADT will bring both companies'customers and employees the best of both organizations," says Manheim President and CEO Dennis Berry.

He says it will provide "a new generation" of remarketing services to dealers, manufacturers and finance companies.

"The result will be a stronger, better company with the best services in our industry," says Mr. Berry.

ADT President and CEO Tony Moorby says, "We are handing over a business that has never been in better shape. The opportunities in the used-car business are more exciting than they have ever been."