Dealer M&A roundup: Moves involving Asbury, Earnhardt & more

Written by:
Auto Remarketing
March 3, 2022

We begin this dealer group M&A roundup in the Southwest, where Phoenix-based Earnhardt Auto Centers has sold two Las Vegas stores — Earnhardt Buick GMC and Earnhardt Mazda — to Jerry Seiner Dealerships, a group based in Utah.

This was announced Thursday by Kerrigan Advisors, which represented the Earnhardt group in the transaction.

“The sale of these stores was not an easy decision for our family, but it was the right one as we increase our focus on our highly successful core group of stores in Arizona. Once again, Kerrigan Advisors not only identified an excellent new owner for the stores, but they also ensured a smooth, harmonious transaction,” said Dodge Earnhardt, who is president of Earnhardt Auto Centers, in a news release.

“We are very grateful to the Kerrigan Advisors team, especially Erin Kerrigan and Marie Brashears, for their hard work to ensure this sale was a success,” Earnhardt said.

Erin Kerrigan, the founder and managing director of the advisory firm, added: “It was an honor to represent the Earnhardt family and work with their executive team again.

“We were pleased to identify the right buyer for the Earnhardt’s valuable Las Vegas dealerships,” she said. “The Jerry Seiner executive team, and owner Chris Hemmersmeier, recognized the value of entering the Las Vegas market with these franchises, and the opportunity the city’s tremendous economic expansion offers for continued sales growth.”

Moving eastward to the St. Louis area, Asbury Automotive Group has sold its store known formerly as Plaza Lexus in Creve Coeur, Mo., to the Gurley Leep Automotive Family.

That deal, announced Monday, was completed last month. The store is now known as Spirit Lexus.

“We are excited to add our second Lexus franchise to the Gurley Leep Family. We plan on bringing our family values of world class service and community philanthropy to greater St. Louis,” said Mike Leep, Jr., who is president of the Gurley Leep Automotive Family.

The store was part of the Plaza Motors group that Asbury has owned and operated since 1998. Its dealerships in the area include Plaza Mercedes, Audi, Jaguar Land Rover, BMW and Infiniti.

“St. Louis is an important market for Asbury and we have a strong connection to the community,” Asbury president and chief executive officer David Hult said in the release. “Ware excited to continue serving our guests at the Plaza dealerships in the city of Creve Coeur.”

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.

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