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Napleton Automotive Group buys 3 Minnesota dealerships

Ed Napleton Automotive Group, one of the largest auto retailers in the country, is entering the Minnesota market with its purchase of three dealerships, including the state's only Lexus stores.

Napleton, of Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., bought Lexus of Wayzata, Lexus of Maplewood and Village Chevrolet in Wayzata in suburban Minneapolis from Village Automotive Group. The transaction closed Monday, and terms weren't disclosed.

Napleton, which ranks No. 26 on Automotive News' list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 27,900 new vehicles in 2017, with the acquisitions now operates 80 franchises in 50 rooftops. The dealership group has stores in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Brian Napleton, director of Midwest operations for Napleton Automotive Group, said the dealership group is excited to add the well-run and profitable stores, including Lexus of Wayzata, the No. 1 Lexus store in the Midwest.

“We believe Minneapolis is a fantastic car market and that these stores will be generational assets for our family,” he said in a statement to Automotive News. “It is also our first GM store in our portfolio, making the Chevy store very appealing.”

Village Automotive Group was founded by the Bloomer family in 1950. It was awarded one of the first charter dealerships for Lexus in the U.S. and operated the only Lexus dealerships in Minnesota. Its Chevy store was one of the oldest in the state.

"After 70 years in the auto dealership business, our family's decision to sell was a difficult one," Steve Bloomer, CEO of Village Automotive Group, said in a statement. "We are happy to see Village Automotive Group transition to another family-owned dealership group who will continue our customer service and employee-focused legacy."

Kerrigan Advisors, an Irvine, Calif., buy-sell firm, represented Village Automotive in the sale.

"With the acquisition of Village Automotive Group, Napleton is adding a hugely respected group of dealerships, including some of the top Lexus franchises in the U.S.," Erin Kerrigan, managing director of Kerrigan Advisors, said in the statement.

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