Kerrigan Advisors Represents Grossinger Auto Group in Sale to AutoCanada

Written by:
Melanie Webber
mWEBB Communications
March 22, 2018

Kerrigan Advisors, the leading sell-side advisory firm to auto dealers in the US, represented and advised Gary and Caroline Grossinger, owners of the Grossinger Auto Group, in their sale to AutoCanada. This transaction represents AutoCanada’s first acquisition in the US. The sale of Grossinger Auto Group marks the fifth Top 100 Dealership Group Kerrigan Advisors has represented, more than any other advisory firm.

With 15 franchises, Grossinger Auto Group is the longest running dealer group in Illinois and was recently listed as the 95th largest dealership group in the United States. AutoCanada is the largest dealership group in Canada with over $3 billion in 2017 revenue, and is the only public dealership group in Canada. This transaction represents the largest acquisition of US dealerships by an international buyer in the history of auto retail.

“Gary and I have had a tremendous experience working both with the Kerrigan Advisors and AutoCanada team throughout this transaction. It was a very heartfelt and bittersweet decision for Gary and me to ultimately decide to sell our dealerships in Illinois after so many years and such a long standing, very strong and treasured family legacy. Always having immense passion for our business and a deep appreciation for our outstanding personnel, once we decided to sell we needed to ensure we chose an advisor group and, ultimately, a purchaser who was aligned with our priorities of providing employees security, continuity of our community relationships, and our focus on the customer experience,” said co-President Caroline Grossinger. “With Kerrigan Advisors’ guidance and expertise, we were able to find such a group with AutoCanada. We are looking forward to the platform of the 15 franchises operating under the very successful AutoCanada team with much success and prosperity.”

Caroline and Gary Grossinger are grandchildren of founder Sam Grossinger, and took over operations of the group at the passing of their father Irwin. A community institution, Grossinger began as a parking garage, then moved into tires, and eventually became a Pontiac franchise in 1928, growing to become one of the largest auto groups in the country.

The sale includes nine dealerships representing 15 franchises throughout greater Chicago, including Lincolnwood, Palatine, and Normal. The automotive brands include Audi, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Hyundai, KIA, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo.

“We needed sell-side advisors who could manage the complexities of a large, legacy dealership group like ours,” said co-President Gary Grossinger. “We chose Kerrigan Advisors because they have more experience than any other firm representing the largest dealership groups in our industry and we valued their insight and tremendous buy/sell experience.”

Headed by Erin and Ryan Kerrigan, Kerrigan Advisors has now represented on the sale of 69 dealerships since July 2015, making it the most active sell-side advisor in the auto retail industry.

“This was a critically complex transaction that included an international buyer, AutoCanada, the largest auto retailer in Canada, in their first US acquisition,” said Ryan Kerrigan, Managing Director of Kerrigan Advisors, who led the transaction. “It was a unique opportunity for Kerrigan Advisors to link an international strategic player with an important U.S. dealer group. It’s also significant to see an international, public group entering the U.S. market with a platform acquisition. That’s a trend we’ve spotted in prior Blue Sky Reports and one we expect to continue in the coming years.”

“Kerrigan Advisors is thrilled to have facilitated the largest US auto retail transaction to an international buyer in the history of auto retail. Never has a non-US buyer acquired 15 franchises in a single transaction,” said Erin Kerrigan, Managing Director of Kerrigan Advisors. “With the Blue Sky Report now distributed to over 7,000 individuals in 35 countries, Kerrigan Advisors continues to field inbound calls from non-US buyers interested in investing in US dealerships. We expect many of our future transactions will be cross-border.”

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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