Car Dealer Insider Jun 1, 2007
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Car Dealer Insider Jun 1, 2007

Proper planning can help make or break a successful buy-sell

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Proper planning can help make or break a successful buy-sell

Whether you're feeling pressured to sell - or whether you have the optimism, energy and financial wherewithal to hunt for buying opportunities - there's a lot you need to understand and negotiate before you begin the buy-sell process.

Even if buying or selling isn't in your near-term plans, you still owe it to yourself to be ready for the unexpected. "The factories can destroy everything families have built. Simple, easy to understand planning can avoid all this…You've gotta start right from Day 1 with a well-thought-out exit plan or succession plan," says Mark Johnson, president of MD Johnson Inc., a national mergers, acquisitions, and financial advisory firm based in Seattle whose clients include dealerships of all sizes.

"It's very relevant, especially given today's market. You could be in for a rude awakening when it's your turn to buy or sell. A manufacturer could let a guy go out of business and won't let you sell the property," Mr. Johnson tells _Car Dealer Insider.

Dealers need to resolve very early in the process any issues with their site control agreements, which restrict who they can sell their real estate to, he says. Half of all dealership properties have site control agreements with their manufacturers, he adds.

"Manufacturers are being tougher than ever on site control issues," says Mr. Johnson, a former dealer who has done merger and acquisition work since 1990 and has dealt... (235 of 941 words)

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  • Money Matters: Don't let the factory call all your capital investment shots (372 words)
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  • Trend Spotting (121 words)
  • You Make the Call: Pending Supreme Court case could let factories knock out discounting (642 words)