Sixth Gear Launches with $1 Billion

Sixth Gear Solutions Corp., an independent auto finance company for U.S. car dealerships, has been formed with over $250 million in equity commitments from a private equity consortium led by Warburg Pincus. The company also secured $750 million in long-term debt facilities.   

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

Sixth Gear Solutions Corp., an independent auto finance company providing financing solutions to leading automotive dealerships across the United States, today announced its entry into the market with $1 billion in equity and debt financing commitments to fund its growth.

 

Sixth Gear uses proprietary technology and personalized service to efficiently provide dealers and drivers with an array of customized auto financing solutions, offering auto financing across all credit segments.

 

The management team of Sixth Gear is highly experienced in the auto finance industry, and has developed close working relationships with dealers. The co-CEOs of the company are: Michael Barrington, the former CEO of AmeriCredit Corp., a leading independent finance company specializing in auto loans; and Norman Buchan, the former President of Chase Auto Finance, a leading commercial bank auto lender.

 

The senior management team includes other former officers of AmeriCredit, Banco Santander, Chase, Citibank, GE, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Volvo and Wachovia among other major companies.

 

Commenting on the launch, Mr. Barrington said, “We are committed to delivering unique value and outstanding service to the dealer and the driver, which will define our position in the marketplace.”

 

With the support of Fiserv Automotive Solutions, Fair Isaac and DealerTrack, the company has developed a state of the art technology infrastructure that will help Sixth Gear provide best-in-class service to auto dealers and customers.

 

“Our management team, our investors and our technology partners share our vision of bringing ease of access to an array of financing options to our dealers, and to their customers,” said Mr. Buchan.

 

Sixth Gear's capitalization is comprised of over $250 million in equity commitments from a group of private equity investors led by Warburg Pincus and $750 million in long-term debt facilities.

 

David Coulter, Chairman of the Board of Sixth Gear, said, “We look forward to working with this top notch management team to build a best-in-class auto finance platform. We think that this is the right time to capitalize on an attractive market opportunity, while other lenders are reducing their commitment to this marketplace.” Mr. Coulter is a managing director at Warburg Pincus, the global private equity firm and lead equity sponsor of Sixth Gear. He is also the former CEO of BankAmerica Corporation and Vice Chairman of JP Morgan Chase.

 

The Sixth Gear management team is comprised of:

 

– Michael Barrington, co-CEO — former Vice Chairman, President and CEO of AmeriCredit-Entrepreneur with demonstrated ability to achieve results in fast-paced, diverse business and market conditions. Mr. Barrington's desire to establish a relationship-focused auto finance company led to the business concept and capitalization of Sixth Gear.

 

– Norman Buchan, co-CEO — former President of Chase Auto Finance — Thirty years experience in domestic and international financial services and a track record of building highly profitable businesses. Mr. Buchan was instrumental in the development of the Sixth Gear business concept and the raising of capital for the business.

 

– Michael Bachand, Chief Credit Officer — began career with BankOne — Senior Vice President, Risk Management, at AmeriCredit — later Senior Vice President, Decision Support, at Santander Consumer USA Inc. (formerly Drive Financial Services).

 

– Michael Berkowitz, Human Resources — Twenty-year veteran in organizational and management development — most recently Senior Vice President Global Compensation and Benefits at Merrill Lynch — previously Senior Vice President Human Resources, JP Morgan Chase Consumer Financial Services.

 

– Steve Dietz, General Counsel and Secretary — Practiced corporate and securities law for thirty years. Mr. Dietz held numerous legal positions with Citibank and Citigroup, most recently as general counsel of The Citigroup Private Bank.

 

– William Houlihan, Chief Financial Officer — CFO of financial services companies including Metris Companies and Hudson United Bancorp. Mr. Houlihan has experience in debt and equity financing, loan securitizations, capital structure optimizations, derivatives transaction and mergers/acquisitions — previous investment banking positions with Goldman Sachs and other firms.

 

– Michael Levine, Chief Technology Officer — responsible for Sixth Gear's technology strategy — thirty-five year career leading large scale business automation and information systems efforts in the financial services sector — formerly with JP Morgan Chase, managing global securities systems, retail bank automation and merchant services credit card operations — most recently as Chief Technology Officer for Chase Auto Finance.

 

– Cheryl Miller, Chief Servicing Officer — formerly President of Consumer Services for AmeriCredit — responsible for $16B portfolio serviced by five call centers — twenty-year career focus on growing business while maintaining corporate and customer goals relative to call center executive management.

 

– Michael Miller, Corporate Strategy — instrumental to the early concept and development stage of Sixth Gear — served as Chief Credit Officer and Chief Operating Officer of AmeriCredit — twenty years of auto finance industry experience.

 

– Joe Scimone, Chief Originations Executive — started in the auto finance business at Chase twenty-three years ago, initially managing the Dealer Services business then as President of its prime auto business — instrumental in developing the full spectrum buying strategy for Chase.

 

About Sixth Gear Solutions Corp.

 

Sixth Gear Solutions Corp. is an independent auto finance company providing financing solutions to select dealerships for sales of new and used vehicles in the United States. The company is headquartered in New York City with Dealer Service Centers in New York, Arizona and Texas. See www.sixthgear.com for more information.

 

About Warburg Pincus

 

Warburg Pincus has been a leading private equity investor since 1971. The firm currently has more than $35 billion of assets under management. Warburg Pincus invests in a range of sectors including financial services, consumer and retail, industrial, healthcare, energy, real estate and technology, media and telecommunications. Warburg Pincus has raised 13 private equity investment funds that have invested more than $29 billion in approximately 600 companies and more than 30 countries. An experienced investor in financial services, Warburg Pincus has invested $3.5 billion in the sector in companies such as Arch Capital, DIME Bancorp., Mellon Financial, Renaissance Re, Metavante, Aeolus Re and MBIA. The firm's current and past investments include: The Neiman Marcus Group; Aramark; NeuStar; TransDigm; Knoll; BEA Systems, which was acquired by Oracle in 2008; Targa Resources and WNS Global Services. Warburg Pincus has offices in Beijing, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai and Tokyo. Please visit www.warburgpincus.com for more information.