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Asbury Automotive Group Inc. (ABG): MSD Capital’s Joel Alsfine Appointed To Board

Joel Alsfine, a partner in Glenn Fuhrman And John Phelan’s MSD Capital has been appointed to Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:ABG)’s Board of Directors, as a 13D filing informed. According to the filing, the fund owns 2.25 million shares of the company’s Common Stock, which represent 7.5% of its total shares outstanding.

Michael Dell

MSD Capital is a family office founded strictly to manage Michael Dell’s funds, in 1998. The fund engages in a broad range of investments ranging from publicly traded securities to privately traded companies, and even incursions in real estate from time to time. Unlike many other funds, MSD maintains a permanent capital base, which allows it to participate in unique transactions with greater flexibility. The fund became particularly notable in 2013, when it became involved in the Dell Inc.’s leveraged buyout.

As of September 30, 2014, the fund owned six publicly traded stock positions, worth more than half a billion dollars. Most of this money was invested in consumer discretionary stocks, which accounted for 90% of its total equity portfolio.

Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:ABG) is a $2.22 billion market cap automotive retailer in the United States. The company offers automotive products and services, including new and used vehicles; vehicle maintenance; replacement parts and collision repair services; new and used vehicle financing, and aftermarket products. As of October 21, 2014, it operated 81 dealership locations, including 102 franchises for the sale and servicing of 29 brands of new vehicles, as well as 24 collision repair centers and 2 standalone used vehicle stores.

According to MSD Capital’s most recent SEC filing, the fund owns 2.25 million shares of Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:ABG). Although the stake remained unchanged since the end of the third quarter of 2014, it did gain in market value, rising from $143 million to $163 million. This position accounts for approximately 7.5% of the company’s outstanding Common Stock, and more than ¼ of MSD’s total equity portfolio, and makes of MSD the largest institutional investor in the company.

When appointed as a director, Mr. Alsfine assured: “Asbury is a best-in-class company with strong automotive retail operations.  I am excited about joining the team and working to continue to drive performance and value for our shareholders”