Kerrigan Advisors Represents Downtown LA Auto Group in Sale to Lithia Motors

Written by:
Melanie Webber
mWEBB Communications
August 9, 2017

Kerrigan Advisors, the leading sell-side advisory firm to auto dealers in the US, represented and advised Downtown LA Auto Group, #55 on Automotive News’ 2016 Top 150 Dealership Group list, in its sale to Lithia Motors. This sale marks the fourth Top 100 Dealership Group that Kerrigan Advisors has represented in the last 20 months, making the firm the leading advisor to the largest dealership groups in the US.

Downtown LA Auto Group, founded in 1955 by Nickolas and Jeanette Shammas, was owned by Diane and Carole Shammas, their daughters.  Since 2003, Darryl Holter served as the group’s CEO and Elay Sung, who will continue to oversee dealership operations on behalf of Lithia as a Platform Vice President, was the COO.

“When we were deciding on our sell-side advisor, we were looking for a firm familiar with marketing a group of well-established, urban auto dealerships. We chose Kerrigan Advisors, because we felt Erin and Ryan Kerrigan would provide us with individualized attention and guidance while at the same time allow us to give our input in order to successfully sell our family’s dealerships,” said Diane Shammas.  “The team at Kerrigan Advisors did an exceptional job managing the sale of our group.  From the initial sales presentation through negotiations and the closing, Kerrigan Advisors was key to the success of this transaction,” said Carole Shammas.

The sale of Downtown LA Auto Group, which is believed to be the largest multi-dealership group sold so far in 2017, includes Downtown LA Motors Mercedes, Porsche of Downtown LA, Audi of Downtown LA, Toyota of Downtown LA, Volkswagen of Downtown LA, Nissan of Downtown LA, and Carson Nissan.  Collectively, these dealerships, many of which are amongst the highest in new unit sales volume for their respective franchises, represent over $850 million in annual revenue.  The Downtown LA Auto Group sale did not include Felix Chevrolet, Nickolas Shammas’ first dealership, which the family has chosen to retain.

Kerrigan Advisors, headed by Erin and Ryan Kerrigan, has now served as the exclusive sell-side advisor to four of the Top 100 Dealership Groups, with each engagement resulting in a successful sale.  Including this most recent closing, Kerrigan Advisors has advised on the sale of 59 dealership transactions since July 2015, representing over $1 billion in client proceeds.

“We were honored to represent the Shammas family on the successful sale of their iconic Los Angeles dealership group,” said Erin Kerrigan, Founder and Managing Director of Kerrigan Advisors.  She added, “This large, complex transaction is a testament to the fact that Kerrigan Advisors does not take ‘listings’.  Rather, we work for a select number of engaged sell-side clients to achieve their specific financial and personal goals, keeping in mind what is best for their family and its legacy.”

“Kerrigan Advisors is pleased to have had the opportunity to lead such a significant transaction.  We know that Lithia’s commitment to its employees and the local community will enable the Shammas family’s auto retail legacy to continue in Los Angeles,” added Ryan Kerrigan, Managing Director of Kerrigan Advisors.

Ann Lawrence of DLA Piper LLP served as lead legal counsel to Downtown LA Auto Group and John Davis of Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP served as the accounting advisor.

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

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.