Lithia grows with acquisitions in Memphis, Toronto markets

Written by:
Auto Remarketing Staff
June 11, 2024

Lithia & Driveway’s massive portfolio continues to grow.

The giant dealership group added three more locations this week with its acquisition of Sunrise Auto Group in the Memphis, Tenn., area, and Woodbridge Hyundai in the Toronto area.

Sunrise Auto includes Sunrise Buick GMC at Wolfchase in Memphis and Sunrise Chevrolet Buick GMC at Collierville in nearby Collierville, Tenn.

LAD said the three stores are projected to generate over $240 million in annualized revenue, bringing the company’s total year-to-date expected annualized revenue acquired to more than $5.6 billion. The acquisitions were financed using existing on-balance sheet capacity, the company said.

LAD operates more than 300 dealerships in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. The Sunrise dealerships are its first in the Memphis market. The company said the Woodbridge Hyundai location will eventually occupy an existing owned facility, allowing for stronger returns.

“We are excited to arrive in Memphis and build on Sunrise’s goodwill within the community, and to add Woodbridge Hyundai, which has been honored as a Best Dealership to Work For by Automotive News for the past five years,” LAD president and CEO Bryan DeBoer said in a news release.

“We offer an exceptional retail experience rooted in ease, convenience and optionality throughout the entire vehicle-ownership lifecycle, and we know these impressive teams will help us meet consumers wherever, whenever and however they desire.”

Sunrise Auto Group was founded 35 years ago by Bob Berkheimer and has grown into the largest Buick GMC dealer in Memphis, generating 75% of the market’s Buick and GMC sales, according to Kerrigan Advisors, which represented the seller in the transaction. It has earned several of General Motors’ Mark of Excellence and Dealer of the Year awards.

“First and foremost, I want to thank our employees and the Memphis community for their steadfast support and loyalty over the past few decades,” Berkheimer said. “As I contemplated this sale, it was critical to find the right buyer to continue our legacy here. I am confident that the dealerships, including my employees, will continue to see great success under Lithia’s ownership.”

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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