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Former AutoNation exec leads group buying Longmont Ford

IRVINE, Calif. - Owner Mike Peebles has sold his long-time Metro Denver-area dealership Longmont Ford to a partnership of buyers that includes Maroone USA, which is a company owned by former AutoNation president and chief operating officer Mike Maroone.

Also in the partnership of buyers are Serra Automotive and Pat Grooms, who will become president and operating partner of Longmont Ford. Grooms has been general manager of Longmont Ford since 2016.

Kerrigan Advisors, an auto dealer advisory firm, represented Peebles in the sale, and according to a news release from Kerrigan, Peebles acquired Valley Ford, which later became Longmont Ford, in 2005.

Peebles, according to the release, worked to build a reputation of “helping Greater Denver Metro drivers find the right Ford for their lifestyle and budget.”

The dealership went through a major renovation, and Longmont is the fourth-highest-volume Ford store in the Metro Denver area, according to Kerrigan Advisors.

“Since the day we purchased Longmont Ford, we have worked hard to make it the kind of local store people could count on for an excellent customer experience and a high level of service,” Peebles said. “We lead by our company motto: High Character, High Results.”

Peebles continued, “So, when I decided to sell, it was a carefully-considered decision to make sure we left the dealership in the right hands for the community and my employees. I am pleased Mike Maroone and his team will lead Longmont Ford in its next chapter. I’d like to thank Kerrigan Advisors for guiding us through this process professionally and with such a keen understanding of the buy/sell process.”

“Advising Mike Peebles on this transaction was a real privilege,” said Kerrigan Advisors founder and managing director Erin Kerrigan. “We worked hard to identify the best buyer for his store to ensure he achieved all of his personal and financial goals for the sale. Longmont Ford is one of the most successful domestic dealerships in the Denver area.  Maroone USA will continue the dealership’s legacy of top customer service and employee relations.”

Kerrigan Advisors has represented on the sale of 80 dealerships in the last five years. The company has represented more than $1.5 billion in client proceeds. The company performs sell-side advisory work and offers strategic consulting services to dealers. Those services include growth planning, valuation, capital raising and financial analysis.

“It was important that Kerrigan Advisors represent Longmont Ford in the right way and to be sensitive to the strong reputation established by Peebles and his team,” said Kerrigan Advisors managing director Ryan Kerrigan. “Mike has a lasting Colorado legacy thanks to this dealership, his Ford store in Rifle, and of course his community philanthropy.”

“We’re thankful to Kerrigan Advisors for their expert representation during the sale,” Peebles said. “Their assistance was instrumental. In fact, we originally tried to sell the dealership without their guidance, but quickly realized that was a mistake. Their expertise in representing dealers is without question. They do far more than operate as brokers. They really manage the sale process every step of the way.”

Michael Dommermuth and Randy Earnest of Fairfield and Woods, P.C. served as legal counsel and Tony Allison and Addison Wilk of Crowe LLP served as accounting advisors for Longmont Ford. Stephen Dietrich and Sandy Lowe served as legal counsel to Maroone USA, Serra Automotive and Pat Grooms.

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