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Dealership M&A Activity Slows in 2016

After several years of heated M&A activity in the auto-retail sector, the number of dealerships changing hands slowed this year, down 7% through the first nine months of 2016, according to consultants Kerrigan Advisors.

Many franchise owners are pushing back closings to 2017, hoping to benefit from potential tax breaks pledged by the incoming Trump administration, the firm's latest report says. In all, 172 dealership sales were recorded in the Jan-Sept. period compared to 184 transactions in the prior year.

Dealership M&A is coming off a record year in 2015 with Berkshire Hathaway's (BRKB) purchase of the 81-store Van Tuyl Group in the first quarter, the largest new-car dealership acquisition ever.

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