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Grossinger to AutoCanada in Record Cross-Border Sale

April 11, 2018

Illinois’ oldest continually operating dealership group has been sold to Canada’s largest auto retailer. Photo by Pedro Szekely via Flickr
Illinois’ oldest continually operating dealership group has been sold to Canada’s largest auto retailer. Photo by Pedro Szekely via Flickr

CHICAGO — Chicago's Grossinger Auto Group has sold its 15 stores to AutoCanada, Canada’s largest automotive retailer. Closed April 9, the transaction is said to be the largest acquisition to date of a U.S. dealership group by an international buyer.

Ranked among the nation’s top 100 auto dealers, 90-year-old Grossinger is Illinois’ longest-running dealership group, generating $401 million in revenues in 2017 from stores representing 11 manufacturers. The group operated nine franchises within the metropolitan Chicago area, America’s third-largest retail auto market, and six stores in an automall in Bloomington-Normal, Ill.

Grossinger was represented by attorneys with New York law firm Akerman LLP. Under the terms of its sale to AutoCanada, a majority of its dealerships will continue to run under the Grossinger name. As part of the transaction, the new owners said they plan to retain local store leadership and staff, thereby ensuring business continuity, and leveraging their acquisition to accelerate growth in the U.S. market.

“Once we decided to sell our business we needed to ensure we found a purchaser who was aligned with our priorities of providing employee security, continuity of our community relationships, and our focus on the customer experience,” said Caroline Grossinger, former co-owner with sibling Gary Grossinger of Grossinger Auto Group. “We were able to find those priorities within the AutoCanada team and Akerman helped us achieve our objectives throughout the process.”

The Akerman team that led the transaction included Jonathan Awner, co-chair of the Corporate Practice Group, Chicago partner David Blum, Automotive Retail Practice Chair Scott Wasserman and Miami partner Brenda Goerks in the Real Estate Practice Group. The team assisted the client in a multifaceted, complex transaction involving multiple compliance and diligence considerations for 11 different manufacturers. The deal also required especially close collaboration with AutoCanada to meet their needs in conjunction with U.S. law, all according to the announcement. 

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