After over 30 years of building the second highest volume Toyota store in the country, Al Hendrickson and his son, Al Hendrickson, Jr., sold their store to Morgan Auto Group. Haig Partners, one of the leading buy-sell advisory firms in the nation, served as the exclusive sell-side advisor on the sale, and this transaction marks the highest transaction price for a single dealership. For Haig Partners, it’s the third transaction since late 2022 in which record prices have been paid. On today’s Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome the President and Founder of Haig Partners, Alan Haig, and we’re joined in the studio by the Managing Director of Haig Partners, Kevin Nill.
The former owner of Al Hendrickson, Al Hendrickson Jr., was conserving his options for his family’s future. After speaking with one of his bankers, he decided to weigh his options with Kevin Nill and Haig’s partners. Nill said, “We had great dialect from the buy/sell market perspective. We weighed what he would face if he bought more stores and the valuations of the ‘trophy operations,’ like Al Hendrickson Toyota.” Nill also noted that the conversation drifted to CharlesMon Toyota, which Group 1 Automotive acquired in 2022. At the time, the acquisition set the record for the highest price paid for a Toyota dealership. “Push forward, the conversation lead to the ultimate sale of his dealership,” asserts Nill.
It’s crucial to note that when a dealer decides to sell their business, typically, that’s the most valuable asset they have in the family. Therefore, “If you’re going to sell, you want to maximize the value,” Nill advises. To that end, they ran a very successful process. They were able to compile comprehensive material on the business and why Al Hendrickson Toyota is something buyers should primarily focus on. Al ultimately chose Morgan Auto Group, and Haig Partners had the fortune of collaborating closely with the transaction.
Haig asserts, “The dealership’s financial performance is a driving factor of successful the acquisition, but there are other factors.” Such as:
- The franchise type- in this case, it’s Toyota. “Toyota is undeniably the most desired among buyers right now,” says Haig.
- The next factor is location. For the buy/sell market, Florida is considered a desirable location.
- Then, it factors down to the profitability of dealers inside operations.
Dealers are nonetheless optimistic about the industry’s future. Haig believes, “The pandemic was a beneficial factor ever to hit the industry.” He also believes that the tenacity and resiliency dealers had to build during the most challenging times is why dealers now have more cash assets than ever. In addition, the appetite for the market is considerably strong. “There isn’t a significant difference in the appetite for dealerships versus the market,” claims Nill.