Date published: 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.”
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 the report, click here. The company 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.
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, CNBC.com, 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. For a recent video of Ryan’s commentary on the market, click here.
About Kerrigan Advisors
Kerrigan Advisors is the leading dealership buy/sell advisory firm focused on providing a high level of client service for dealership sellers nationwide. Led by a team of veteran advisors, Kerrigan Advisors customizes each sale process to maximize the seller’s transaction proceeds. The firm has sold 69 dealerships since 2015. With the most comprehensive buyer database in the industry, Kerrigan Advisors has the industry context and expertise to match every seller with the right buyer. In addition to Kerrigan Advisors’ sell-side transaction work, the firm also provides a suite of consulting services including accounting preparation for sale, litigation support, open point applications and transactional due diligence.
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. Kerrigan Advisors’ Managing Director Ryan Kerrigan is also a sought-after industry expert. He is featured in a monthly column for Dealer Magazine and has written Op-Eds for Automotive News, among other outlets.