Sonic-RFJ deal closure leads flurry at year-end

On the selling side, Prime Automotive, which sold most of its holdings to Group 1 Automotive last month, sold a Toyota store in Lancaster, Mass., on Dec. 7. Prime ranked No. 18 on the list.

AutoFair Automotive Group, which ranks No. 131 on the list, and its seven dealerships across New Hampshire and Massachusetts, was bought by Terry Taylor, through his Automotive Management Services Inc., on Dec. 6.

Continental Motors Group, No. 147 on the list, sold a Honda store on Dec. 6.

Other large private groups also bought stores. Hudson Automotive Group acquired two Mercedes-Benz dealerships in Ohio on Dec. 7 from Peterson Automotive Collection.

“I think it’s a good market for buyers and sellers,” said Hudson Automotive CEO David Hudson. “There are plenty of good, well-capitalized acquirers that are out there in the market. I think that sellers are getting good value for their businesses if now’s the right time to exit.”

One broker described the volume of deals as out of the ordinary for year-end. “I think this [past] week will probably be a record week in the history of buy-sells,” said Mike Sims, president of Pinnacle Mergers & Acquisitions, a buy-sell firm in Frisco, Texas.

Melissa Burden and John Huetter contributed to this report.

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