New private equity firm sets cap for powersports acquisitions

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A former automotive OEM executive has launched a private equity firm with an eye toward making acquisitions in the auto and powersports markets.

Motoring Ventures LLC, of Southfield, Mich,, describes itself as “a middle-market private equity investment and advisory firm focused on acquiring and building value in middle-market companies in the automobile and powersports industries.” The new company is targeting green vehicle and fuel efficiency technologies; commercial and niche vehicle OEMs; aftermarket product manufacturers; vehicle subsystems integrators; high-growth auto markets, e.g., China; and motorsports products and services.

Founder and managing director Edward Hightower says Motoring Ventures creates opportunities for owners of and investors in middle-market automotive and powersports companies to exit their healthy or underperforming businesses. Motoring Ventures also targets divested business units and orphaned brands in the auto and powersports sectors.

A typical acquisition would involve the following criteria, according to the company:

  • Must be in the automotive or powersports industry
  • Have $50 million to $500 million in annual revenue
  • EBITDA margins of 0-10 percent
  • Track record of revenue and earnings
  • $10 million to $50 million transaction size
  • Healthy, underperforming or under-managed companies

Healthy but underperforming or undermanaged companies reportedly will be considered, as well as "compelling candidates" outside the above ranges. There are no geographic restrictions. Transactions are financed by Motoring Ventures' proprietary network of equity investors and lenders, according to the company.

Motoring Ventures’s stated goal is “to create value by taking strategic and tactical actions that improve operations, reduce costs and grow revenue. Motoring Ventures also makes its extensive industry expertise and business acumen available in the form of consulting and advisory services.”

Hightower was a director at AlixPartners LLP and spent 15 years in product design, engineering, marketing and P&L roles for Ford, BMW, GM and others.

Posted by Holly Wagner