Some buy-sell brokers predict records in Q1

Written by:
Gail Kachadourian Howe
February 11, 2024

Dealership buy-sell brokers at the NADA Show predicted a busy year of transactions and some expect a record-setting first quarter for their firms.

LAS VEGAS — The brisk pace of dealership buy-sell transactions, with several large transactions, will lead to record-setting first quarters, two buy-sell brokers told Automotive News. And others said they see no signs of deal pace slowing.

Erin Kerrigan, managing director of Kerrigan Advisors, a dealership sell-side firm in Incline Village, Nev., said she predicts a robust year.

"We're going to have a record Q1 as a firm," Kerrigan said. "The reason we had a record '23, and we're going to have a record first-quarter '24 is because there's tremendous demand from buyers who are very well-funded, and now there are more sellers coming to market to capture the valuations because they're concerned that the valuations can go down in the next 12 months."

Kerrigan's firm was involved in the sale of 50 dealerships last year. Kerrigan Advisors is representing Leith Automotive in its sale of more than 25 stores across North Carolina, to Holman, a Mount Laurel, N.J., group that ranks No. 26 on Automotive News' list of the top 150 dealerships groups based in the U.S.

''I think '24 is going to be a very busy year," Kerrigan said. " '25, my crystal ball gets pretty murky. It's really a question of the economy, interest rates and the strength of the consumer to drive up vehicle sales in my view, and if that happens, which it could, I think we'll have a very robust year in '25. But if we see a pullback or a recession, I think we'll likewise see a pullback in buy-sell activity and valuation in '25."

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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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