The flood of special-purpose acquisition companies on the market has some dealers exploring a new way to take their companies public. If the strategy comes to fruition, it could lead to the first expansion to the ranks of the six publicly traded franchised dealership groups since the last of them, Asbury Automotive Group Inc., went public in 2002.
With SPACs, also known as blank-check companies, on the lookout for investment opportunities, several dealership accountants, lawyers and buy-sell advisers told Automotive News they have clients closely weighing partnerships. Talks involving some dealers have accelerated over the past few months, advisers said.
Going public via a SPAC could provide quick access to capital for a growing group to buy more stores or pay down debt, or give a dealer an exit strategy. The SPAC model also could shave months off the going-public process, accountants said.