Follow the Smart Money

It’s very obvious to me (and my banker…) that I don’t hang in circles like this, but…did you see that Bill Gates increased his stake in AutoNation to 5+%?  And that Eddie Lampert, the guy who made so much money on Sears/KMart, already owns almost 40%

Hmmm, what do they know that I don’t?

Here’s the article….

“…Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates has a 5 and a half percent stake in dealership chain AutoNation Inc., according to a disclosure filed Monday, July 21, with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In betting on auto dealerships, Gates joins fellow technology pioneer Michael Dell. Dell announced plans in May to team with former Sonic Automotive President Jeffrey Rachor to start a joint dealership venture. Dell is the founder and CEO of personal computer giant Dell Inc. The stake makes Gates AutoNation’s third-largest shareholder, according to Bloomberg. But he’s far behind the largest shareholder: Hedge fund manager Edward Lampert. As of its latest SEC filing on May 28, Lampert’s firm owned 39.9 percent of AutoNation. Lampert is best known for acquiring troubled retailer Kmart out of bankruptcy and merging it with Sears Holdings Corp. AutoNation, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has 321 vehicle franchises in 15 states with a range of U.S., Asian and European automobile brands. AutoNation ranks No. 1 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 dealership groups in the United States with retail sales of 328,963 new vehicles in 2007.

Source:  Automotive News


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