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CWONJ discusses private equity impact on Northeast market

KENILWORTH, N.J.  — The Car Wash Operators of New Jersey (CWONJ) welcomed George Odden with Ardent Advisory Group to share his thoughts on the impact of private equity (PE) on the Northeast market at the association’s Fall Membership Meeting at Galloping Hill Golf Course on Nov. 1, according to a press release.

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“The topic was timely and the comments from George were eye-opening,” according to CWONJ President Dino Nicoletta. “We had a great turnout and lots of Q & A from attendees. I was extremely happy with the event and the venue.”

CWONJ President Dino Nicoletta kicked off the evening with an award bestowed to Past President Doug Rieck.

Rieck, who recently completed his second term as president, is a past recipient of the Northeast Regional Carwash Convention’s (NRCC) Most Distinguished Person Award and its highest honor, The Hall of Fame Award.

He is active on the board and has served the CWONJ in various capacities for many years.

The honor was to note his exemplary service and his most recent term as president.

Next up, Sam Weinstein with the Princeton Public Affairs Group (PPAG), the association’s lobbying firm, updated attendees on the association’s effort to get carwashes across the state classified as “essential” businesses in case of future state shut downs or drought restrictions.

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He reported that there is now a bill in both houses deeming carwashes as essential businesses.

He is hopeful that the legislation will be signed into law by Governor Murphy in the coming months.

The event’s speaker is a partner with Ardent Advisor Group based in Scottsdale, Arizona.

He has 25 years of experience working with multinational banks conducting billion dollar transactions while also working in the middle market helping small businesses find the right partners to reach their business goals.

He shared his thoughts on PE’s impact on the Northeast market and what he sees for the future.  

“PE is here to stay and will continue to grow,” said Odden, “but not at the rate you’ve seen because financing has changed and there is some uncertainty now.”

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Odden noted that in New Jersey, where there is still a significant number of full-serves, PE deals can be done, and there is interest, but it’s more of a challenge.

He said the most attractive washes to a PE group are those with four or more locations, express sites over full-serves, those with a robust development pipeline, clean books/records/operating history, consistent earnings over time and a growing club or the potential to create/grow one.

“PE loves the subscription model,” said Odden. “And a strong return on investment is critical to them. They are also interested in greeenfield development (sites that have not been previously developed or polluted). But they are driven by the potential financial return. That is everything to them.” 

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Visit cwonj.com for more information on the association, its mission and future events.

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