FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. , June 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Haig Partners LLC, the leading buy-sell advisory firm to auto, heavy truck and RV dealers in the U.S., served as the exclusive sell-side advisor to Miami-based Lehman Auto World on the sale of its nine dealerships to Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE: LAD). Lehman Auto World consists of Largo Honda, Doral Hyundai, Doral Kia, Doral Genesis, Lehman Subaru, Lehman Hyundai, Lehman Buick-GMC, Lehman Genesis and Lehman Mitsubishi. As a part of this transaction, Lithia also acquired Esserman International which consists of Esserman Acura and Esserman VW in Doral, FL. This acquisition of eleven dealerships represents the most ever in Florida history. Lithia expects the dealerships to add over $850M in annualized revenue.
William "Bill" Lehman, Jr., the principal owner, explained his rationale for the sale, "On a personal level, I asked my wife, when do I retire? When do I smell the roses? I've had one job my whole career running these dealerships. I've had a great run. I'm 81 and I think it's time. From a corporate perspective, there is continued consolidation in the automotive retail space, so when Lithia expressed interest in starting initial conversations with us, I felt that this was not only the right time but the right company. I thank Alan Haig and the team at Haig Partners for introducing us to Lithia and advising us on the sale process. This was a complicated transaction and they were integral to helping it to come off smoothly. Jonathan Awner at Akerman LLP was also impressive in his ability to negotiate the legal agreements and close a large transaction like this."
Bill Lehman, Jr. has been making significant contributions to the economic, political and cultural life in South Florida for over 50 years. Mr. Lehman took over management of the family business, a Buick dealership in North Miami, in 1967 when his father, Bill Lehman, Sr., became a US Congressman. Mr. Lehman, Jr. has since grown the organization into one of the largest auto groups in Florida. In addition to being a highly respected auto dealer, Mr. Lehman has other impressive accomplishments. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama and has an MBA from Harvard Business School. Mr. Lehman served two years in the United States Army and has been a major supporter of local charities, serving as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Museum of Contemporary Art of North Miami, President of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Executive Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Florida International University, President of the South Florida Auto Dealers Association and President of the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center.
Lithia Motors is a publicly traded auto retailer that ranks second on the 2021 Automotive News Top 150 Dealership Groups. In 2021, Lithia generated $22.8B in revenue and retailed 536,200 vehicles. With the purchase of these eleven dealerships, Lithia has become one of the largest dealers in Florida and likely the largest dealer in the US. "We are thrilled to welcome these teams to our Lithia & Driveway family," said Bryan DeBoer, Lithia & Driveway President and CEO. "The Lehman family has deep roots in south Florida, serving the community for over 86 years. Under the Lehman family leadership, the stores achieved a reputation for earning lifelong customers with their impeccable level of service."
Alan Haig, President of Haig Partners which represented the seller, said, "We congratulate Bill Lehman, Jr. on the sale of his dealerships to Lithia Motors. He built Lehman Auto World into one of the largest groups in the state. They operate high volume stores, including Hyundai in Doral which consistently ranks as a Top 5 dealership in terms of sales. Also, we tip our hats to Bryan DeBoer and the Lithia team with this significant investment in one of the most desirable auto retail markets anywhere in the world. South Florida is growing rapidly and we believe Lithia will do very well with these eleven dealerships. Welcome to South Florida! This transaction demonstrates that buyers remain confident about the future profitability of auto dealerships and want to continue to grow."
The team at Haig Partners has been involved in the purchase or sale of 100 dealerships in Florida, more than any other team, by far. Lehman Auto World is the 22nd client that Haig Partners has represented that qualifies as one of Automotive News Top 150 Dealership Groups, also more than any other firm. Haig Partners has advised on the sale of 26 dealerships nationwide so far in 2022.
Haig Partners LLC helps dealers to maximize the value of their businesses when they are ready to sell. The team at Haig Partners has unmatched experience with executives from leading retail dealer groups and financial institutions. They have advised on the purchase or sale of more than 575 dealerships for over $9.0 billion, more than any other firm. Haig Partners leverages its expertise and relationships to lead clients through a confidential and customizable sales process that also maximizes the value of their businesses. They author the Haig Report, the leading industry quarterly report that tracks trends in auto retail and their impact on dealership values, and are co-author of NADA's Guide, "Buying and Selling a Dealership." For more information, visit www.haigpartners.com.
Alan Haig, Founder and President
Aimee Allen, Director of Marketing and Business Development
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