Citing unnamed inside sources, German auto business news outlet Autohaus reported on Monday that Solera founder and CEO Tony Aquila is leaving Audatex’s parent company.
“We have no information to provide,” said Sarah Lofdahl, a spokeswoman for Solera’s public relations firm BizCom Associates, when asked about Aquila on Tuesday. She promised to update us if that changed.
We also reached out to Aquila through his personal website and to Solera’s parent company, Vista Equity, which took the information provider private in 2016 for $6.5 billion. . Stay tuned for the latest from Repairer Driven News.
According to a Google-translated version of the German-language article, Autohouse cites “several insurance industry representatives and Solera employees”, saying that Aquila and chief financial officer Renat Giger will retire “at the end of June”. said it was planned.
Autohaus said it wasn’t clear whether the exit was an “agreed exit” or something else, but acquisitions like Vista Equity’s 2016 acquisition typically involve the target company’s management team. He said he would stay for three years and then leave.
Solera’s “Leadership Team” web page on Tuesday still lists Aquila and Giger as the company’s chief executives.
If true, the change in management could impact crash repair, given the company’s broad automotive portfolio. And so on.
The company announced in February that it would build a “revolutionary” automotive and insurance training facility in Texas.
“CESVI LIV NA is focused on providing fact-based, authoritative and documented research, curating data on reparability, diagnostics and procedures,” Solera wrote in a news release. “The Center will also disseminate this research through training and provide expert consultation on advanced technology trends.
“Research spans the auto insurance, crash repair, automaker and auto owner industries. CESVI LIV NA will provide insights and tools to reduce repair costs in the North American claims environment. LIV NA integrates OEM repair procedures into consultation and training to promote best practices in vehicle service, maintenance and repair.”
The Dallas Morning News in March reported that the center, which measures 13,000 square feet and will cost about $9 million, is set to open in July.
“This center will add value to the auto insurance industry. Our research, consulting, technology and training provide data and insights on the most efficient and effective repair processes. Good residual values are supported, creating more cost-effective auto repairs and ensuring safe vehicles back on the road.”
Founding and sales
Aquila says he started Solera out of his garage after selling two other companies.
“Frustrated with the lack of transparency and efficiency that plagued the automotive industry, Tony embarked on a mission to transform the car ownership experience by harnessing the power of digital innovation and technological disruption. ‘ said Aquila’s personal website.
“Today, with his office still in the garage, Tony leads over 6,000 employees serving over 200,000 customers and partners in over 80 countries.”
Solera went private because shareholders weren’t patient enough with its long-term strategy focused on innovation and “content,” CEO Tony Aquila told Bloomberg Markets in 2016. .
He told Bloomberg Markets that it had been difficult to get investor confidence in its game plan because it “didn’t get a comparable return on the capital invested.”
As yields turned negative, the firm sought private equity capital, said Aquila, who was interviewed by Bloomberg Markets at Goldman Sachs’ leveraged finance conference.
For industry insiders and financial buffs interested in learning more about the sale, Solera provided interesting details in this October 5, 2015 Schedule 14A proxy filing. See the “Merger” section.
A 2018 Delaware state court opinion on the dispute over the value of Solera shares at the time of the merger provides another interesting explanation. Solera/Vista Equity basically won. The shares he sold for $55.85, petitioner demanded $84.65, and the court awarded $53.95 worth of non-synergistic shares.
Judge Andre Bouchard’s opinion illustrates the value Aquila had for the company and potential buyers.
“Solera’s stock price affected Akira personally,” Bouchard wrote. “His compensation was tied to ‘total shareholder return’ and the majority of his stock options were underwater. Aquila did not receive any performance bonuses in 2011, 2012 or 2013. migration and I really need to get something meaningful for it.
“At one point, Aquila threatened to leave Solera if his compensation was not reset. Dattilo commented “how” [S]Solera’s requirements can’t really be met because olera is structured, it would probably take 3 people to replace him, and the originator is still prevalent.[’]culture there. . ”
At the same time, Aquila considered taking the company private in the deal.
“In reality, Aquila’s participation in the deal was a prerequisite for the financial sponsor to make the deal,” Bouchard wrote. “As complainants said, ‘Aquila is a solera.’ In other words, if the buyer had not been personally familiar with Aquila, a private transaction would not have been possible.”
For more information:
“Tony Aquila verlässt eigenes Unternehmen”
auto house, May 13, 2019
“Solera CEO Aquila: The App War Is Coming”
Bloomberg’s “Bloomberg Markets” May 17, 2016
Featured Image: Solera CEO Tony Aquila is seen at the Allianz-Solera Summit in Germany on October 30, 2014. (Sorella Holdings/PRNewsFoto)