No end in sight for hot buy-sell activity
TO THE EDITOR:
Based on my firm’s conversations with buyers, there is no immediate end to buy-sell activity. Every market and product is driven by supply and demand. There are many qualified buyers for a few sellers (“Private buyers drive dealership buy-sell activities in first half of ’22” and “Publics’ dealership acquisitions drop in ’22,” autonews.com, Nov. 20).
The arena consists of corporate buyers and regional or noncorporate buyers (nonpublic groups). We hear the “noise” when a corporate buyer closes a megadeal but don’t hear the same when the owner of 15 franchises closes on No. 16. This is where the action is today. There are many $40 million to $100 million revenue dealerships for sale that do not necessarily meet the criteria that a corporate buyer seeks.
My firm has closed 12 dealerships to date this year, with four more to close by year end. All of these deals went to noncorporate regional buyers. The blue-sky values were at record levels. I see no reason that blue-sky values or dealership earnings will decrease dramatically in 2023 and 2024.
For a potential seller, the buy-sell market remains stellar, and if they move in the near future, they would be assured of record blue sky. Just because the corporate buyers are taking a breath doesn’t mean the market is dead. To the contrary, we find the market to be very aggressive, with no end in sight!
ANDY GILL, CEO, Gill Automotive Group, St. Augustine Beach, Fla. Gill Automotive provides merger and acquisition services to franchised dealers.