Former Ford, BMW, AlixPartners Exec Launches Auto Sector Focused Private Equity Firm

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Former OEM exec – Ford, BMW, GM – and AlixPartners director launches Motoring Ventures LLC, a middle-market automotive and powersports industry focused private equity firm.

Edward T. Hightower, Managing Director - Motoring Ventures LLC

Former OEM exec – Ford, BMW, GM – and AlixPartners director launches Motoring Ventures LLC, a middle-market automotive and powersports industry focused private equity firm.

Motoring Ventures LLC is an independent private equity investment and advisory firm focused on acquiring and building value in middle-market companies in the automobile and powersports industries. Target automotive and powersports sub-sectors include - green vehicle and fuel efficiency technologies; commercial and niche vehicle OEMs; aftermarket product manufacturers; vehicle sub-systems integrators; high-growth auto markets, e.g., China; and motorsports products and services.

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 candidate will fit the following criteria:

  •     Automotive or powersports industry
  •     $US 50 - 500 million in annual revenue
  •     0 - 10% in EBITDA margins
  •     Track record of revenue and earnings
  •     $US 10 - 50 million transaction size
  •     Healthy, underperforming or under-managed companies

Compelling candidates outside of these ranges are also considered. There are no geographic restrictions. Transactions are financed by Motoring Ventures' proprietary network of equity investors and lenders. Motoring Ventures professionals are hands-on leaders and operators of its portfolio companies and seek 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.

Edward Hightower, Managing Director, brings over twenty years of P&L, product design engineering and marketing leadership experience – from the global automotive industry and turnaround consulting – to the founding of Motoring Ventures and the hands-on leadership of its portfolio companies. He has a track record of success in creating, launching and marketing great new products that deliver superior profits and win in the marketplace.

Previously, Hightower was a director at AlixPartners LLP where he helped manufacturing and consumer companies around the world grow revenue, reduce costs and increase operating profits. He played key hands-on roles in the operational turnarounds of several industrial and consumer companies. Hightower also advised several of the worlds leading private equity firms on portfolio company operations and profit improvement, and mergers and acquisitions transactions. He led operational and commercial due diligence projects for several major automotive, alternative energy and industrial deals throughout the US, China and the UK.

Prior to consulting, Hightower spent 15 years between several significant product design engineering, marketing and P&L leadership roles in the global auto industry including – chief engineer and leader of the Expedition, Navigator and Excursion vehicle lines for Ford; brand manager of the 5, 6 and 7 Series models for BMW in the US; and product planning manager of the original Cadillac CTS and rear-wheel-drive Sigma platform for GM.

Hightower earned a BS in General Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, where he is an active member of the Alumni Board of Governors and regular speaker at the Zell Lurie Institute’s annual Global Private Equity conference.

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