HARLOTTESVILLE, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kerrigan Advisors, the premier sell-side advisor and thought partner to auto dealers nationwide, represented Charlottesville, Virginia-based Jim Price Auto Group in the sale of Jim Price Hyundai and Price Kia to Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Flow Automotive, which owns dealerships across North Carolina and Charlottesville. Since the firm’s founding, Kerrigan Advisors has sold over 225 dealerships. In 2023 alone, the firm is on track to sell 52 dealerships representing $2.6 billion in client proceeds, making Kerrigan Advisors the leading sell-side advisor in auto retail.
“We were proud to represent Jim Price Auto Group in this transaction, and were determined to live up to their over 50-year legacy of providing exceptional service to the Charlottesville community,” said Gabe Robleto, Vice President, Sell Side Advisory at Kerrigan Advisors. “With these two highly sought-after brands in a business-friendly state, we knew buyer demand would be high and a successful sale would be defined by finding a buyer with a track record of commitment to customer service and community, and who knew and understood this region. Flow Automotive, with multiple dealerships in Charlottesville, proved to be a natural fit.”
The Jim Price Auto Group, a family-run dealership group, was founded in 1968 by Henry James “Jim” Price in Charlottesville. In 2017, his daughter Sandra Price Amato became the dealer principal, continuing the family’s legacy as one of Charlottesville’s top dealer groups. In 2022, Jim Price Auto Group was named the #1 New Car Dealership Group in Charlottesville for the second consecutive year.
“After 55 years of doing business in this incredible community, this was a big decision for our family and could only be made with confidence if we knew we were transitioning our dealerships in a way that would serve family, employees and community alike,” said Sandra Price Amato, Owner and Dealer Principal of Jim Price Auto Group. “The team at Kerrigan Advisors was with us every step of the way to ensure any transaction hurdles were overcome and that our family achieved our personal and financial goals in the sale. Simply stated, Kerrigan Advisors was exemplary and, with Gabe Robleto in the lead, not only did we exceed valuation expectations, but the navigation of the entire transaction was successful for everyone involved.”
Echoing that, Sandy Fewell, Partner & Chief Operating Officer of Jim Price Auto Group said: “I am so happy to see our Kia and Hyundai dealerships go to a buyer who has the same core values of taking care of employees and customers that Jim Price Auto Group has demonstrated for over half a century. Thank you Kerrigan Advisors for shepherding the process from beginning to a successful closing.”
Kia and Hyundai are among the top brands in the industry: in 2022, Kia and Hyundai gained the most market share of all import non-luxury franchises, increasing 15.5% and 14.6%, respectively. Kia and Hyundai were also the top performers in the 2023 Kerrigan Dealer Survey for expected valuation increases. Meanwhile, Charlottesville is a growing, affluent market anchored by the University of Virginia, with an attractive cost of living and a highly educated workforce. The area boasts high quality of life, high median household incomes and low cost of living and, in 2023, Virginia ranked as the #2 Top State for Business by CNBC, while Charlottesville was recognized on the Top 100 Best Places to Live in America by Livability.com.
“In spite of continuing economic uncertainties, today’s dealership buy/sell market remains robust, especially in growing population centers like Charlottesville and business-friendly states like Virginia,” said Erin Kerrigan, Founder and Managing Director of Kerrigan Advisors. “This transaction, and its high valuation, demonstrate the value buyers see in leading franchises in growing markets — in this case, further bolstered by Charlottesville’s position as a single point market. We were so honored to work with the Price family to bring this transaction to fruition after over 50 years of hard work and investment in their community, employees and customers.”
Barrett Charapp Beaty of Mahdavi Bacon Halfhill & Young, PLLC served as legal counsel to Jim Price. William Joyner III and Michael Grace of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP served as legal counsel to Flow Automotive Companies.
About Kerrigan Advisors
Kerrigan Advisors is the leading sell-side advisor and thought partner to auto dealers nationwide. Since its founding in 2014, the firm has led the industry with the sale of over 225 dealerships representing more than $7 billion in client proceeds, including the third largest transaction in auto retail history – the sale of Jim Koons Automotive Companies to Asbury Automotive Group. 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. Led by a team of veteran industry experts with backgrounds in investment banking, private equity, accounting, finance and real estate, Kerrigan Advisors does not take listings, rather they develop a customized sales approach for each client to achieve their personal and financial goals. In addition to the firm’s sell-side advisory services, Kerrigan Advisors also provides a suite of consulting and investor 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 Dealer Survey, 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.