AUTOMOTIVE INSIGHT: Private Equity Looks Downstream in Autos

October 22nd, 2008 at 3:40pm

As heard on
WWJ Newsradio 950

Listen to this story:

Private equity is not as engaged in the auto industry as it was a few years ago, but the experts say just you wait, they’ll be back.

Private equity deals have dropped off dramatically in the auto industry this year, and that is a global phenomenon. But Frank Dunne, a senior counsel at the law firm Dykema Gosset says one of the reasons is that the private equity firms have to put more money into their existing investments, rather than go out and cut new deals.

But he says private equity will be back in the auto industry because now they’re looking downstream. Instead of looking at automakers or suppliers, he says they’re now very interested in the retail end of the business and in the aftermarket.

And he says that the big automotive retailers, like Auto Nation are just the kind of businesses that private equity would love to get into.

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