Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

DealerSocket Co-Founders Ord & Perry Contest Auto/Mate Acquisition

UPDATE – January 22, 2020: A temporary restraining order has been issued delaying the transaction till at least February 11. January 15, 2020 — Following Jonathan Ord’s December lawsuit against DealerSocket (reported last week by The Banks Report), co-founder Brad Perry filed his own lawsuit this week against investment firm Vista Equity Partners, its DealerSocket…

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DealerSocket’s Pending Purchase of Auto/Mate Gives Window into Vista Equity’s Automotive Strategy

DealerSocket’s Pending Purchase of Auto/Mate Gives Window into Vista Equity’s Automotive Strategy

January 8, 2020 — Vista Equity Partners-backed DealerSocket announced this week it has agreed to acquire dealer management software vendor Auto/Mate. The deal (which as of yet, does not have a timeline) provides insight into Vista’s automotive plans, but there are questions still to be answered. Vista Equity is one of the bigger investors in…

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New Era Taking Shape in Auto Retail Vendor M&A Activity

New Era Taking Shape in Auto Retail Vendor M&A Activity

November 1, 2019 — Pivotal. That’s probably the best word to describe vendor mergers and acquisitions and investments among automotive retail vendors in 2019. Aggressive roll-up plays, new directions, and evolving industries forming now will reshape the industry over the next five years. In TBR’s Third Quarter Report on Auto Retail Vendor Merger and Acquisition…

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General Motors Announces New Dealership Website Vendors – Why It’s a Big Deal

General Motors Announces New Dealership Website Vendors – Why It’s a Big Deal

September 16, 2019 — CDK Global’s 15-year run as being the exclusive vendor for General Motors’ dealership websites came to an official end last week as the automaker announced an additional three providers to its website program. The move likely will reshape the dealership website landscape over the next couple of years. The new vendors…

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Thoma Bravo Putting Together an Automotive Data Giant

Thoma Bravo Putting Together an Automotive Data Giant

July 31, 2019 — Thoma Bravo emerged yesterday as the winning bidder for J.D. Power and Associates. It’s the private equity firm’s second automotive-data play since late April when it acquired Autodata Solutions from KKR. Bravo also owns Trader Corp., the leading automotive retail digital company in Canada (it acquired the Montreal-based digital marketing firm…

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Public Dealer Stocks on a Tear

Public Dealer Stocks on a Tear

July 25, 2019 — Public dealer stocks have jumped an average of more than $5 over the last two days fueled by stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings from AutoNation and Lithia Motors. The run began with AutoNation’s second-quarter earnings release on Tuesday in which it reported a record $1.12 earnings-per-share exceeding analysts expectations. The nation’s largest dealer…

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Not the First Choice, but Miller is the Right Choice for AutoNation

Not the First Choice, but Miller is the Right Choice for AutoNation

July 23, 2019 — Late yesterday afternoon, AutoNation announced long-time CFO and vice president Cheryl Miller as its new CEO and president. She’s replacing Carl Liebert. On the surface, the change was a shock. Liebert had only assumed the top job at the nation’s top-selling dealer group in March after a months-long search that reportedly…

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Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Thoma Bravo to Acquire 2nd Automotive Technology Company

May 1, 2019 — Yesterday’s announcement that PE firm Thoma Bravo is acquiring Autodata Solutions from Internet Brands could be Act Two in what may be an ambitious play in automotive. The pending transaction also portends an M&A market that is heating up after a slow first quarter that saw only 11 deals completed, down…

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Cars.com Sale Likely Close, Here’s a Rundown of Possible Buyers

Cars.com Sale Likely Close, Here’s a Rundown of Possible Buyers

March 10, 2019 — An announcement regarding who Cars.com’s new owner will be could be made as early as this week. The company is an attractive play for numerous players — both from a strategic and an investment perspective. Cars announced in January the board had voted at the end of September to retain J.P.…

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Don’t Like GM’s Plant Closures? Blame the Threat of Activist Investors

Don’t Like GM’s Plant Closures? Blame the Threat of Activist Investors

February 6, 2019 — This week, General Motors began the difficult task of laying off more than 4,000 salaried employees as part of a massive restructuring this year that includes the idling of five North American plants, eliminating vehicles and an overall workforce reduction of 14,700 employees. The moves are designed to save the automaker… Continue Reading