First Team Automotive Corp., a growing chain that has 10 Florida dealerships, has filed to go public this summer in a $50 million initial public offering.
In a preliminary prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, the Orlando-based chain said it would seek a listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
A more detailed final prospectus will be issued after SEC review of the preliminary document, probably within a month.
First Team earned $3.1 million last year on $450 million in revenue. That would make it roughly the same size in revenue as Texas-based Cross-Continent Auto Retailers when it went public last September.
Don Mealey, 61, the group's CEO and founder, started out with a Chevrolet store in Orlando in 1974.
The company said it intends to issue 2.75 million shares, which corresponds to an initial offering price of around $18.18 per share and a price-earnings multiple of 16 based on last year's profit. But it did not disclose in the preliminary document how much of the total company would be offered to the public, which prevents putting a value on the entire company.
MAGER: A FAMILIAR FACE
If the initial public offering is successful, it would be a hat trick of sorts for Ezra Mager, 55, vice chairman and director of corporate strategy for First Team.
Previously, Mager was vice chairman of Cross-Continent. Before that, he was executive vice chairman of United Auto Group, which went public last October.
Mager will buy $1 million worth of First Team stock when it goes public, according to the SEC filing.
The dealership IPO business is a small world in other ways. Before joining United Auto, Mager was a director of the Wall Street firm of Furman Selz, Mager, Dietz & Birney Inc. The firm underwrote the public offering of Lithia Motors.
3 ACQUISITIONS PENDING
First Team has three more Florida acquisitions pending, but the group wants to start buying dealerships outside Florida, in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states, according to the Tuesday, June 10, SEC filing. The three Florida buyouts are contingent on the offering being completed, probably in August.
Including the three pending deals, First Team had pro forma 1996 revenue of $658 million, and unit sales of about 17,000 new and 13,000 used vehicles, the company said. The group has seven dealerships and plans to acquire one each in Orlando, Bradenton and Panama City, Fla. The group's brands include Ford, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Plymouth, Jeep, Eagle, Cadillac, Oldsmobile, Infiniti, Mitsubishi and Acura.
Ford Motor Co. accounted for about 49 percent of the group's new-vehicle unit sales last year.
First Team also holds the exclusive Orlando franchise for Driver's Mart, a used-car superstore chain. Its first Driver's Mart store should be open next year, and it may build two more by 2001.