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Continental Motors sells 3 of its Illinois stores

In a transaction involving Kerrigan Advisors, two groups purchased three franchised dealerships in Illinois from Continental Motors of Naperville.

According to a news release, Continental Audi and Continental Mazda were sold to Chicago-based Bill Napleton Auto Group, while Continental Acura was sold to Desmond Roberts, owner of Advantage Chevrolet of Hodgkins, Advantage Chevrolet of Bolingbrook and Advantage Toyota of River Oaks, all located in Illinois.

Founded in 1961, Continental Motors Group is one of the oldest and longest-running family owned dealership groups in the Chicago area. Brothers John and Herman Weinberger opened their import repair shop in Lyons, Ill., in 1961 and quickly became new-car dealers with their first franchise, Triumph, in 1962.

From that point, the family business grew through the brother’s legacy of customer support and service, ultimately leading to Joel Weinberger’s ownership of Continental Motors’ Naperville platform.

“As a family, we are proud and thankful to be a part of the Naperville community, Chicago’s largest car market,” Joel Weinberger said in a news release distributed by Kerrigan Advisors. “I am incredibly grateful for the years of hard work from my Continental team, and for the support of my customers and the community over the last three decades.”

In addition to serving its thousands of customers, Continental has also championed local charities during the last 33 years, including the Drive for 135, an annual fundraising event to end homelessness and its annual “Driven to Care” vehicle donation program that has put 56 vehicles in the hands of needy families over the past seven years.

The Naperville dealership group is part of the larger Continental Motors Group. With these transactions, the Weinberger family will continue to own and operate Continental Honda in Countryside (owned by brother Jay Weinberger), and Continental Toyota in Countryside (owned by cousin Cheryl Nelson).

According to the news release, Joel Weinberger will retain and manage his Ferrari dealership in Hinsdale, Ill.

Among Continental Motors of Naperville’s many accolades are being named Naperville’s Best Auto Dealership every year since 2009 by Naperville Magazine; Continental Audi’s recognition, three times as an Automotive News Best Dealership to Work For and 13 times as an Audi Magna Society award winner as well as an Audi Magna Society Elite winner in 2018. Continental Acura also is a 20-time recipient of the Precision Team Dealership of Distinction Award (more than any other Acura dealership in Illinois) and Acura’s Gold Environmental Leadership Award.

“The traditions that my father John and my uncle Herman started have carried over through the years in my business,” Joel Weinberger said. “Things like exceptional customer service and a commitment to a strong work ethic. That has passed the test of time for us, and that’s how Kerrigan Advisors approached this transaction.

“We selected them as our exclusive sell-side advisor to represent us for that reason and are very grateful for the expertise and assistance they provided throughout the sale process. Their preparation, accounting review, due diligence management and ultimately closing assistance were invaluable to our transaction,” Weinberger went on to say.

These transactions mark the 93rd Kerrigan-led dealership sale since 2015.

“The auto retail industry is tracking toward record profits in 2020, despite the challenges of COVID-19. Not surprisingly, buyers in today’s active buy/sell market are seeking prime assets such as Continental’s Naperville dealerships,” said Erin Kerrigan, founder and managing director of Kerrigan Advisors. “Our firm was honored to represent Joel Weinberger in the sale of his dealerships, which are among the most valuable in Chicago. Naperville is an incredible car market, and Joel’s dealerships are known for their impeccable reputation in the community and committed employees.

“With a 60-year family legacy and a complex, multi-dealership transaction, it was vital that Kerrigan Advisors dedicate the time and energy necessary to prepare Joel’s group for sale, so we could identify the right buyers for his valuable dealerships and ensure a smooth closing,” continued Kerrigan, who was among this year’s Women in Retail honorees highlighted in Auto Remarketing. “Continental has a lasting family legacy that will continue to grow and evolve with the new owners, both of whom are family run with multiple generations involved.”

David Blum, Scott Wasserman and Santiago Assalini of Akerman LLP served as legal counsel to the seller. Christine Smith of Crowe served as the seller’s accountant.

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