“We remain a passive partner,” Romanoff said. “Adam and team continue to fully run operations, but we’ve provided them the intellectual and equity capital that they need to further their objectives.”
Family-run Parks Automotive is the second auto retailer investment for Franchise Equity Partners, following its $70 million October investment in Georgica Auto Holdings. Shortly after that partnership was announced, Georgica Auto bought three dealerships in Connecticut.
Launched by Romanoff and Michael Esposito in November 2021, the firm received $1 billion in funding from HPS Investment Partners. It was tasked with investing in five sectors, including automotive dealerships, with about $400 million targeted for that sector.
Romanoff said the remaining amount — about $275 million — will get invested in more partnerships such as the ones with Parks Automotive and Georgica Auto. He said the firm prefers multigenerational organizations and partners in distinct geographies.
Don Reese, CEO of Franchise Equity’s auto holdings, told Automotive News that as opportunities arise, the firm now has a financial and structural footprint that allows them to facilitate deals more efficiently and quickly.
“We are now, as an investor, a minority partner, approved by 13 manufacturers between the two deals that we’ve done,” Reese said.