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.
Kerrigan Advisors actively 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 the report, click here. The company also releases the monthly Kerrigan Index™ composed of the seven publicly traded auto retail companies with operations focused on the US market. The Kerrigan 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.
Erin Kerrigan is Founder and Managing Director of Kerrigan Advisors, and is a recognized industry expert on dealership valuation, real estate and buy/sells. A sought-after commentator on automotive retailing topics ranging from consumer auto buying trends to auto retail consolidation to private equity in auto retail, she has keynoted numerous automotive conferences and her analysis has appeared in publications such as Automotive News and the Wall Street Journal. For a recent video of Erin’s commentary on the market, click here.
Ryan Kerrigan is Managing Director of Kerrigan Advisors and an expert on US auto retail buy-sell transaction work. Prior, Ryan served as Managing Director at Serent Capital, a $250mm private equity fund investing in middle market companies and served as General Manager of the family’s auto dealership. Mr. Kerrigan began his career as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he advised Fortune 500 companies on growth strategies, organizational issues, pricing and business valuation.
About Kerrigan Advisors
Kerrigan Advisors is a national dealership buy/sell advisory firm focused on providing a high level of client service for dealership sellers. Led by a team of veteran advisors who have represented transactions totaling over $3.0 billion dollars in automotive, private equity and investment banking, Kerrigan Advisors customizes each sale process to maximize the seller’s transaction proceeds. With the most comprehensive buyer database in the industry, Kerrigan Advisors has the industry context and expertise to match each seller with the right buyer.
In addition to the monthly Kerrigan Auto Retail Index, each quarter, Kerrigan Advisors publishes The Blue Sky Report®, a Kerrigan Quarterly, which is the auto industry's most comprehensive and authoritative quarterly report and analysis of dealership buy/sell activity and franchise values. Kerrigan Advisors’ Managing Director Erin Kerrigan is a recognized industry expert on dealership valuation, real estate and buy/sells, and is a frequent speaker at leading auto retail events and conferences, including NADA, JD Power Automotive Roundtable, AICPA, NADC and Driving Sales’ President’s Club. She has also been a keynote speaker for events hosted by American Honda Motor Company, Audi of America, US Trust, Ohio Automobile Dealer Association, and SunTrust Bank and has led webinars for NADA and Automotive News. Her expertise is also featured in a monthly column for Dealer Magazine.