What will Happen at Central?


What will Happen at Central?

I have no clue. But I’m told by people who are supposed to know that investment bankers can be stern task masters. They want a plan, they want you to follow the plan, and they want results.

Can the current management at Central come up with a solution that will make their new bosses smile?

This is a company that basically hasn’t made a real profit for years.  OK its been getting a bit better in the past few quarters, but lets face it.  Centrals profit has been made from selling off their assets, not from running parking garages.

They are a multi faceted company. They have operations in countries all over the place. They have management contracts AND leases. They run shuttle operations and they run ticket collection operations. Is it time to get back to their core business?

Monroe Carell told me a number of years ago that basically he dealt with Wall Street.  That was probably when Central lost its focus.  The man that built the company from a small operation in Nashville to the behemoth it is today focused on high finance and not on parking cars.

Can the existing management  change its focus back to its core business?  They most likely will have some time. Most of these bankers give the existing management an opportunity to do their thing.

We can do nothing but wish them all the best.

There is one more thing. Having a private equity firm take over the largest parking operator is a new adventure for our business.  They will most likely invest the capital necessary to bring the technology and expertise necessary to bring our industry out of its adolescence and into maturity. Having the financial and management expertise of these four companies has to be a good thing.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

One Response

  1. I am a recent former employee of Central and have nothing but good things to say about them. However I do agree that over the last several years they became more concerned about stock price and what “the street” thought rather than fundamental parking operations and bid acquistions for leases and management agreements.
    I worked for Central in the 13th largest market in the country and witnessed a loss of a large amount of market share over that time.
    Wouldn’t it be more likely that the new equity firms that have bought Central would take a hard look at the operations in this market (both present and historical) and likely either sell or shut down the operations in this market unless they were convinced that a turn around was forthcoming is a very short amount of time rather than giving them a year or two to work out of it?

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