The management of U.S. Auto Parts Network took time during a March conference call with members of the financial community to address their intentions for the AutoMD.com business. “We need to dispel the rumor that we’re running a process to outright sell AutoMD,” CEO Shane Evangelist said. “This is simply not the case, nor has it ever been the case. We continue to believe this opportunity has the ability to add significant shareholder value of which we do not believe the market gives us credit today.”
This is most likely a response to a statement made back in December by Maguire Asset Management, an activist shareholder that owns a 5-percent stake in U.S. Auto Parts. Maguire claimed back then that the U.S. Auto Parts board of directors had put AutoMD up for sale.
Our sister publication, The Greensheet, ran a story about this on Dec. 12. When we reached out to U.S. Auto Parts at the time for confirmation, we received no reply.
Now, management stresses that AutoMD is not outright for sale.
For 2014, management anticipates that U.S. Auto Parts’ net direct investment in AutoMD will be around $1.50 million, with a major focus on signing up shops to AutoMD Insta-Quote. This service allows shops to gain visibility from end-market customers and allows customers to get real-time, transparent, quotable prices across shops in each market.
“As always, we will evaluate strategic partners if we believe they can accelerate growth and add shareholder value,” Evangelist said on the March 2014 call.
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