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  • Who We Are

    About Stephen Dietrich


img_aboutOver the course of his career, Stephen has been involved in the purchase or sale of over 200 retail vehicle dealerships, and he represents a variety of business entities and individual clients in day-to-day business matters including commercial real estate development, finance, corporate governance, and various third party business relationships.

While Stephen focuses on the retail automotive space, he also regularly works with companies of all sizes as outside general corporate counsel, focusing mostly on joint venture, investments, business organization, and operational matters.

In addition, Stephen regularly works on developing, structuring, and implementing acquisition and disposition programs for corporations to purchase businesses, through either asset or stock purchase transactions.

Stephen received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.A. (summa cum laude) in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. A member of both the American and Colorado Bar Associations, Stephen lives with his family in Golden, Colorado.

Who We Are
Corporations, SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and startups need an attorney who is not only well versed in corporate law but who also understands that business transactions like those described above involve people and relationships and complex emotions.  These emotions include fear and distrust, and they often threaten to complicate and even undermine the most mutually profitable business deals.

Stephen Dietrich excels at navigating these areas of transactions. While performing extensive work in mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financing, restructuring, and other complex business transactions, Stephen developed a passion for and a deep understanding of human dynamics. These dynamics often form the basis of profitable business synergies and, in the case of fear dynamics, they can derail an otherwise highly profitable transactions and partnerships.

While overseeing mergers and acquisitions, often involving vehicle dealerships, Stephen began to notice that destructive fear dynamics would arise in these typically tense, sensitive business negotiations. Driven by fear, clients or adversaries often engage in dysfunctional thinking and behaviors that threaten to undermine transactions that stood to be very profitable for both parties. These same destructive dynamics affect his clients’ business counterparts sitting across from them at the negotiating table.

Using these skills, observations and insights, Stephen helps his clients and their business partners understand and address relational dynamics, including fear dynamics. These dynamics can threaten transactions and ongoing business relationships and clients and their business associates rarely notice these dynamics are at work. In addressing relational dynamics in his approach to his profession, Stephen helps all parties understand the complexity of their actions and the stakes of the transaction. Stephen gives clients and their business partners the confidence they need to execute highly profitable agreements.

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From Stephen's Blog

Unique Issues in Retail Auto Joint Ventures

June 7, 2018

Joint Venture Image

In a previous post (see: 2017 in Review: Trends in Retail Auto Mergers and Acquisitions), I highlighted the increasing prevalence of joint ventures (JVs) in the auto industry either as an approach to succession or as a way for individuals, family offices or investment entities who are new to the retail auto industry to get their start. Whatever the purpose of a JV, such partnerships…

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Attention Business Owners: Plan for Your Succession Now

February 8, 2018

Nobody likes to think about estate planning. Not only does the phrase evoke a sense of drudgery, but many people literally associate it with death. Clearly nobody wants to think about their own death, especially when there are deals to be done, customers to please and reputations to build. The visceral aversion to sitting down and thinking about what happens after is certainly understandable. [caption…

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Resolving Value Disconnect between Buyers and Sellers of Auto Dealerships

February 2, 2018

In my previous post “2017 in Review: Trends in Retail Auto Mergers and Acquisitions,” I highlighted an all-too-familiar and continuing trend: the battles between buyers and sellers over valuation — battles that arise from what I like to call the “value disconnect.” Sellers, who naturally want to get top dollar for their dealerships, are often reluctant to admit annual sales increases or operational efficiency haven’t…

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