Focus Advisors, a mergers-and-acquisitions firm in collision repair, represented Vinart Dealerships in the sale of its body shop and the formation of its ongoing services agreement with VIVE Collision.  Vinart’s body shop in Allentown, Penn., services the Lehigh Valley with certifications for Honda, Acura, Hyundai, Mercedes and Porsche. VIVE Collision is a regional collision-repair consolidator focused on repairs from highly certified shops. 

Partner Chris Lane of Focus Advisors said the transaction was mutually beneficial.

“For dealers looking to exit the body shop business, the successful formula is often to sell the body shop to a reputable buyer, establish a long-term lease for their space, and form a services agreement to become exclusive parts supplier and certifications sponsor while receiving preferential body shop services for the dealership. Andy Wright at Vinart recognized the value of this formula from the start.” 

Andy Wright, president of Vinart Dealerships, agreed.

“We are focused on growing our dealership business and the body shop wasn’t getting the attention it deserved, so I reached out to Focus Advisors and we made plans to find the right acquirer and partner. They know all the buyers, the process, and helped us negotiate through an intricate transaction and services agreement that goes beyond the scope of a typical asset sale. They helped me realize significant value for my body shop operation and real estate and I’m very happy I reached out to them when I did.” 

Although there has been considerable consolidation in both the collision-repair and dealership industries, Focus Advisors is seeing increasing interest by successful dealership owners to sell their body shops and enter services agreements. 

Managing Director of Focus Advisors David Roberts authored a paper titled “Step Up or Step Back: Thoughts on Dealer Body Shops," where he cites  a recent case study, “six months after acquisition, the dealer is selling nearly twice as many parts to that same MSO. The MSO’s sales in that same location have doubled. The dealer is now receiving market rent for the shop. Cycle times on dealer referred repairs have improved by 35%. Additional dealer benefits have included fewer staffing challenges, lower investments in equipment and training, reduced occupancy costs and reduced insurance costs,” and concluded “dealers have choices – to step up, invest and perform at the level of competitive consolidators and MSOs – or step back and realize improved operational and financial benefits by selling their shops.”

Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today

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