Boon or burden? Automakers’ use of right of first refusal in dealership buy-sells aids some, hinders others

Written by:
Jackie Charniga
September 29, 2023

The right of first refusal in dealership buy-sells has helped minority dealers acquire stores and is a tool many automakers say can help them manage their franchises. But there is a downside.

Dealership buy-sell experts say the use of the right by automakers is on the rise, with some having aggressively increased involvement in managing their dealership networks since 2015.

Automakers use the right of first refusal as a way to exert more control over who owns their branded dealerships, while some use buyouts to reduce overall dealership footprints, according to Kerrigan Advisors’ 2022 Blue Sky Report published in April.

And automakers who overly rely on the refusal tool can harm dealership blue sky values — the intangible value of a dealership, including goodwill — as some buyers will skip making an offer, according to the report published by Kerrigan Advisors, a sell-side firm in Incline Village, Nev.

“When the buyer pool for a franchise is reduced for this reason, the laws of economics come into play — less demand often results in lower prices,” the report said.


Click here to read the full article [may require a subscription].

About Kerrigan Advisors

Kerrigan Advisors is the premier sell-side advisor and thought partner to auto dealers nationwide. The firm advises the industry's leading dealership groups, enhancing value through the lifecycle of growing, operating and, when the time is right, selling their businesses. Kerrigan Advisors has represented some of auto retail's largest transactions and advised more of the largest dealership groups in the US than any other buy/sell firm in the industry. Led by a team of veteran industry experts with backgrounds in investment banking, private equity, accounting, finance and real estate, the firm does not take listings, rather they develop a customized approach for each client to achieve their personal and financial goals. In addition to Kerrigan Advisors' sell-side advisory and capital raising services, the firm also provides a suite of consulting services including growth strategy, market valuation assessments, capital allocation, transactional due diligence, open point proposals, operational improvement and real estate due diligence.

Kerrigan Advisors monitors conditions in the buy/sell market and publishes an in-depth analysis each quarter in The Blue Sky Report®, which includes Kerrigan Advisors' signature blue sky charts, multiples, and analysis for each franchise in the luxury and non-luxury segments.—To download a preview of the report, click here.—The firm also releases monthly The Kerrigan Index™ composed of the seven publicly traded auto retail companies with operations focused on the US market. The Kerrigan Auto Retail Index is designed to track dealership valuation trends, while also providing key insights into factors influencing auto retail.—To access The Kerrigan Index™, click here.—To read the—2023 Kerrigan OEM Survey, click here.—Kerrigan Advisors also is the co-author of NADA's Guide to Buying and Selling a Dealership.

Share this post
In The News

We look forward to connecting with you.

Contact us to learn more about Kerrigan Advisors’ sell-side services.
All of our conversations are 100% confidential.