Another cluster of family owned dealerships is departing the industry and selling to a larger group.
According a to a news release distributed on Tuesday, Kerrigan Advisors represented and advised Minnesota-based Village Automotive Group in its sale of Lexus of Wayzata, Lexus of Maplewood and Village Chevrolet to Chicago-based Ed Napleton Automotive Group, which operates more than 74 franchises in seven states.
Founded by the Bloomer family in 1950, Village Automotive Group is one of the original charter dealerships for Lexus in the U.S. and has earned the Lexus Elite distinction for a combined 46 years, operating the only Lexus dealerships in Minnesota.
The company’s Village Chevrolet dealership in Wayzata has been owned and operated by the Bloomer family for nearly 70 years and is one of the oldest Chevrolet dealerships in the state.
"After 70 years in the auto dealership business, our family’s decision to sell was a difficult one. We are happy to see Village Automotive Group transition to another family-owned dealership group who will continue our customer service and employee-focused legacy,” said Steve Bloomer, president and chief executive officer of Village Automotive Group.
“We are very grateful for the guidance and support that the Kerrigan Advisors’ team provided us in the sale process. Erin Kerrigan’s expertise — from her deep understanding of the buy/sell market, transactions and dealership valuations to the OEM approval process — helped make our sale as smooth as possible,” Bloomer continued.
Kerrigan Advisors has been involved in the sale of 79 dealerships in the last five years, representing more than $1.5 billion in client proceeds. For example, Kerrigan Advisors was intimately involved with another family business when Carson Kia — which the firm said at the time was the highest volume Kia dealership in the U.S. since 2016 — was purchased by southern California-based Trophy Automotive Dealer Group (TADG) last August.
Village Automotive Group valued that experience during its journey.
“Kerrigan Advisors was invaluable to us in the sale of our dealerships,” said Steve Bennett, vice president, chief operating officer and partner of Village Automotive Group who has been active on Lexus dealer and product councils during his 38-year tenure with the company.
“Mercedes Hendricks and Marie Brashears of Kerrigan Advisors were particularly helpful in preparing us for sale and managing the buyer due diligence process. We are very grateful for all of their hard work in making this sale a success,” Bennett continued.
Erin Kerrigan, founder and managing director of Kerrigan Advisors, described the path the firm took with Village Automotive Group.
“Two things were clear when we were engaged by Steve Bloomer and Steve Bennett: the importance of selling to a buyer who would continue the Village Automotive Group’s extraordinary record of top customer service and the need for a transaction process that would do justice to the Bloomer family’s 70-year legacy in the automotive retail industry,” Kerrigan said. “We are pleased that we found a buyer with a deep family legacy in the auto dealership business.
“With the acquisition of Village Automotive Group, Napleton is adding a hugely respected group of dealerships, including some of the top Lexus franchises in the U.S., and entering the Minneapolis market for the first time,” Kerrigan added.
Bill Jonason and Mark Hamel of Dorsey & Whitney served as legal counsel to Village Automotive Group. Jama Kris of Stinson Leonard Street and Les Stracher served as legal counsel to Ed Napleton Automotive Group.
In addition to its sell-side advisory work, Kerrigan Advisors consultancy offers strategic consulting services to dealers and their families, including growth planning, capital raising and valuation analysis, creating value every step of the auto retail lifecycle.
The firm highlighted that its managing directors are fully licensed with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and have particular expertise in navigating the complexities associated with selling large family enterprises with multiple owners and dealerships.
“Kerrigan Advisors’ promise to its clients is to treat each sale as if it were their own,” the firm said. “Unlike some firms that simply operate as brokers, Kerrigan Advisors does not take listings or building up an inventory of dealerships for sale, rather the firm focuses on a select number of higher value transactions, such as the sale of Village Automotive Group, and ensures that each is completed to their client’s satisfaction.”