Sep 14, 2021 - Economy

GPB Capital sells Prime Automotive Group for $880 million

Car against blue backdrop

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

GPB Capital agreed to sell Prime Automotive Group, a Westwood, Mass.-based network of 30 auto dealerships and three collision repair shops, for around $880 million to Group 1 Automotive (NYSE: GPI).

Why it matters: This comes as GPB is facing criminal and civil fraud charges, brought by both federal and state authorities, over allegations that it used new investor commitments to pay dividends to investors in prior funds (i.e., a Ponzi scheme).

  • GPB has denied the claims, while a federal judge put an outside forensic accountant in charge of making final calls on GPB business decisions.

The bottom line: "The value of the average dealership in the U.S. ranged from $20 million to $25 million in June, including real estate, or about 33% more than at the end of 2019. Industry consulting firm Kerrigan Advisors recently estimated there were 289 dealership acquisitions last year, with the count rising 27% this year through the first half," the Wall Street Journal's Ted Bunker writes.

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