Bel Air Partners celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2018 and is the country’s foremost auto dealership advisory firm for buy/sells, litigation support, valuations, debt & equity sourcing and real estate.
Bel Air occupies that rarified space where expertise, credibility and relationships meet in the service of private auto dealers. Bel Air was created following the first successful vehicle retailer IPO, Rush Enterprises, engineered by Bel Air’s founder.
Bel Air has advised private dealers on more than two hundred separate dealership transactions to over $10 billion of retail revenue and more than $2 billion in transaction value.
Among notable successes, Bel Air advised one of the country's most recognizable private equity/hedge funds exploring an investment in retail automotive distribution. The result was a well-publicized $100,000,000 investment with one of America's most highly regarded dealers.
Bel Air has performed dozens of dealership valuations for estate purposes, partnership agreements, litigation and others. Most notably, Bel Air provided valuation services for Penske Auto Group (PAG) in a potential conflict of interest sale transaction. In another assignment Bel Air prepared an economic impact study on Porsche's requirements for facility upgrades.
Litigation support is a significant and differentiating competency. We have been retained by several nationally recognized law firms in support of their representation in numerous conflicts with auto manufacturers, partnership disputes and other cases.
Most recently two of Bel Air's partners testified in court about the damages inflicted on a Honda dealer who was unlawfully being obstructed from constructing a new dealership by its landlord. In another example Bel Air was an expert witness for Sonic Automotive in its dispute with Mercedes Benz.
Recognizing the significance of dealership real estate Bel Air recently recruited a prominent real estate expert to join the partnership. In his first engagement he assisted a substantial dealer client in the refinancing of his dealerships through a sale lease/back financing.
Since its inception Bel Air has organized special events to address issues of concern to its auto dealer clients. Recently, Bel Air hosted a private conference for over 50 private dealers to address the future of automotive retailing in the age of connected and autonomous cars. Speakers included the CEO of Holman Enterprises, the President of the New Jersey Car Dealers Association and the NADA consultant on the future of retail dealerships among other prominent industry luminaries.
Another example occurred during the 2016 NADA convention in Las Vegas; Bel Air hosted a private party for dozens of the leading private dealers in the country. Co-sponsors were Capital Automotive REIT and BMW Finance. Mack McLarty, one of the country's most venerated dealers and President Clinton's Chief of Staff during his first term, was our featured speaker on the subject of the upcoming presidential election.
In the spring of 2018 Bel Air participated in Princeton University's Smart Driving Car Summit both as a speaker and coordinator for local dealerships' display of their most advanced driver assistance vehicles.
Bel Air is particularly proud of its stellar reputation in the retail automotive community. Assignments are typically originated by referrals from industry professionals and satisfied clients.
Bel Air seeks to add value as its primary goal. Bel Air is not a “finder”. Not mere introducers. Bel Air facilitates the best and most certain financial results for its clients while protecting confidentiality. We accept the role of fiduciary and only receive success fees from our clients.
We are part of a collaborative team of professionals. We assist on strategic decisions sometimes years before an actual transaction is contemplated. The client preserves the final word on all significant decisions.
Bel Air begins by evaluating the potential for the dealership(s) to generate a higher level of profitability. After assessing opportunities and challenges, a target valuation is estimated.
We pinpoint appropriate buyers from our extensive group of dealer and professional investor relationships. A select number are chosen and screened: those with proven financial resources, demonstrated motivation and manufacturer approvability. Marginal buyers and those needing financing contingencies are eliminated.
Assignments follow a non-advertised competitive and confidential process. They are never advertised.
Once the best buyers are identified and terms preliminarily negotiated, we assist in supporting our client's attorneys and accountants. Should a buyer challenge our financial and other information in an effort to renegotiate a transaction, we are prepared to support our analysis. In the event a buyer reneges a backup buyer is always identified.
Credibility has been won through many successful engagements through the years as a financial expert and thought leader. Bel Air's track record with litigation support and valuations has established our firm as the leader in financial consultancy for auto dealers.