January 26, 2015 / 3:50 PM / 5 years ago

Soros eyes investing in auto dealer groups -report

DETROIT, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Billionaire financier George Soros wants to invest in or buy a large automotive dealership group, potentially following in the footsteps of Warren Buffett, Automotive News reported.

Two representatives of Soros Fund management, which Soros chairs, attended the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in San Francisco over the weekend to research the industry and find potential investing opportunities, the industry trade publication said, citing four sources familiar with the situation.

A deal by Soros would follow a similar move last year by Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc, which announced the purchase of the Van Tuyl Group auto dealership.

Soros is interested in the car business as a way to diversify his fund’s holdings and cash flow opportunities, and buying a large dealership group was one option, the sources told Automotive News.

Soros Fund is in talks with an undisclosed number of dealership groups and has proposed “different transactions to different people,” the publication said, citing one of the sources.

Soros Fund representative Vipul Tandon declined to comment to Automotive News and a spokesman could not immediately be reached by Reuters on Monday. Tandon spoke at a private dinner on Saturday attended by about 40 dealers, a source told the publication. (Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit and Jennifer Ablan in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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