Kerrigan Advisors Represents Continental Motors of Naperville in Sale of Dealerships

Written by:
Melanie Webber
mWEBB Communications
October 26, 2020

Sale of Continental Acura, Continental Audi and Continental Mazda dealerships highlights the strength of the buy/sell market, marks 93rd Kerrigan Advisors-led dealership sale since 2015

IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kerrigan Advisors, a leading sell-side advisory firm to auto dealers in the U.S., represented and advised Continental Motors of Naperville on its recent sale of Continental Acura, Continental Audi and Continental Mazda. Continental Audi and Mazda were sold to Chicago, Illinois-based Bill Napleton Auto Group, while Continental Acura was sold to Desmond Roberts, owner of Advantage Chevrolet of Hodgkins, Advantage Chevrolet of Bolingbrook and Advantage Toyota of River Oaks, all located in Illinois. These transactions mark the 93rd Kerrigan-led dealership sale since 2015 and the sixth Top 150 Dealership Group Kerrigan Advisors has represented. With this transaction, Kerrigan Advisors is the most active sell-side advisor to the largest dealership groups in the U.S.

"The auto retail industry is tracking toward record profits in 2020, despite the challenges of COVID-19. Not surprisingly, buyers in today's active buy/sell market are seeking prime assets such as Continental's Naperville dealerships" said Erin Kerrigan, Founder and Managing Director of Kerrigan Advisors. "Our firm was honored to represent Joel Weinberger in the sale of his dealerships, which are among the most valuable in Chicago. Naperville is an incredible car market, and Joel's dealerships are known for their impeccable reputation in the community and committed employees."

Continental Motors Group, founded in 1961, is one of the oldest and longest-running family-owned dealership groups in the Chicago area. Brothers John and Herman Weinberger opened their import repair shop in Lyons, Illinois in 1961 and quickly became new car dealers with their first franchise, Triumph, in 1962. From that point on, the family business grew through the brother's legacy of customer support and service, ultimately leading to Joel Weinberger's ownership of Continental Motors' Naperville platform.

As a family, we are proud and thankful to be a part of the Naperville community, Chicago's largest car market" said Joel Weinberger. "I am incredibly grateful for the years of hard work from my Continental team, and for the support of my customers and the community over the last three decades." In addition to serving its thousands of happy customers, Continental has also championed local charities over the last 33 years, including the Drive for 135, an annual fundraising event to end homelessness and its annual "Driven to Care" car donation program that has put 56 cars in the hands of needy families over the past 7 years.

"The traditions that my father John and my uncle Herman started have carried over through the years in my business" said Weinberger. "Things like exceptional customer service and a commitment to a strong work ethic. That has passed the test of time for us, and that's how Kerrigan Advisors approached this transaction. We selected them as our exclusive sell-side advisor to represent us for that reason and are very grateful for the expertise and assistance they provided throughout the sale process. Their preparation, accounting review, due diligence management and ultimately closing assistance were invaluable to our transaction."

Among Continental Motors of Naperville's many accolades are being named Naperville's Best Auto Dealership every year since 2009 by Naperville Magazine; Continental Audi's recognition, three times, as an Automotive News Best Dealership to Work For, and 13 times as an Audi Magna Society award winner since 2003 as well as an Audi Magna Society Elite winner in 2018 and Continental Acura's 20-time Precision Team Dealership of Distinction award (more than any other Acura dealership in Illinois) and Acura's Gold Environmental Leadership Award.

"With a 60-year family legacy and a complex, multi-dealership transaction, it was vital that Kerrigan Advisors dedicate the time and energy necessary to prepare Joel's group for sale, so we could identify the right buyers for his valuable dealerships and ensure a smooth closing" continued Kerrigan. "Continental has a lasting family legacy that will continue to grow and evolve with the new owners, both of whom are family run with multiple generations involved."

The Naperville dealership group is part of the larger Continental Motors Group, which Automotive News ranked as the 130th largest dealership group in 2019. With this transaction, the Weinberger family will continue to own and operate Continental Honda in Countryside (owned by brother Jay Weinberger), and Continental Toyota in Countryside (owned by cousin Cheryl Nelson). Joel Weinberger will retain and manage his Ferrari dealership in Hinsdale, Illinois.David Blum, Scott Wasserman and Santiago Assalini of Akerman LLP served as legal counsel to the seller. Christine Smith of Crowe served as the seller's accountant.

Kerrigan Advisors is the most active sell-side advisor on larger transactions in the auto retail industry with the most sale proceeds per transaction of any firm. In addition to its sell-side advisory work, the firm offers strategic consulting services to dealers and their families, including growth planning, capital raising and valuation analysis, creating value at every stage of the auto retail lifecycle.

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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