Private equity bank looks to deploy $80M in independent dealer space

DALLAS and CALGARY, Alberta - 

For operators looking for capital or how to handle the long-term future of their independent dealerships, perhaps Kelemen & Co. might be a financial resource to tap.

On Tuesday, Kelemen, a private equity merchant bank that invests in mid-market companies and also offers tailored corporate advisory services, announced the launch of an $80 million investment program dedicated to mid and large independent dealers. The program will have $80 million in total equity commitments in a permanent capital vehicle, which is provided from Kelemen’s private capital and family office investor network.

“We are much more than just a source of capital, our deep operating expertise will help growth-minded independent car dealers be more creative in their marketing, increase sales velocity, improve operating cash resources and leverage technology for a better customer experience resulting in a lower cost of capital and better operating metrics,” said Greg Kelemen, founder and managing partner.

Kelemen is intrigued by data from Manheim, which stated nearly 40 million used vehicles were sold in 2016, constituting $760 billion in retail sales.

“Of the 40,000 independent car dealerships in the U.S., many facing management transition have few choices to sell their business or obtain growth capital,” Kelemen said.

“Kelemen has the talent, resources and experience to be a long-term partner to these transitioning management teams and will fill the exit strategy gap thereby allowing managers to continue their legacy of customer and community service,” he went on to say.

Through the equity in this program and additional debt financing, Kelemen expects to invest more than $200 million in independent dealers, mainly in the United States over the next two years.

The launch of the investment program also launches a new retail industry investment business for Kelemen.

For more details, go to