Ten of Bill Heard Enterprises 14 closed stores have potential buyers lined up through the merger and acquisition company Global Marketing Enterprises, the CEO of Global Marketing said today.
Of those stores, seven had potential buyers before the worlds top-selling Chevrolet dealership group filed for bankruptcy Sunday, Sept. 28, CEO Andrew Parkin told Automotive News. GME, of Alpharetta, Ga., began working with Heard Enterprises to sell the groups stores six to seven weeks before the bankruptcy filing and had secured purchasing contracts for 80 percent of those seven stores, Parkin said.
This is not something where (Heard) went out and crashed and said, Were going to do the bankruptcy, he said.
Parkin confirmed a former Heard managers report that luxury-brand retailer Qvale Automotive Group, of San Francisco, had a pre-bankruptcy buy-sell agreement for the store in Huntsville, Ala.; and Sunrise Auto Group, of Memphis, Tenn., had one for the store in Collierville, Tenn.
Qvales CEO is Bruce Qvale, son of European car dealer Kjell Qvale. Sunrise, owned by Robert Berkheimer, has three General Motors dealerships in Tennessee.
The two buyers still hope to purchase the stores, Parkin said. Berkheimer declined to comment, and Qvale did not immediately return a call today for comment.
Global Marketing Enterprises also has proposed sales arranged for both Las Vegas area stores and one Houston area store, along with stores in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Buford and Kennesaw, Ga.; the Orlando, Fla., area; and Plant City, Fla.
All the proposed sales involve strong buyers willing to pay nearly the full appraised value of the dealerships, Parkin said.
I think a lot of people are looking at this as a fire sale, and its not, he said, adding that he thinks buyers looking to bid 30 cents on the dollar will be out of a deal.
Global Marketing Enterprises is no longer working for Heard Enterprises. Fred Caruso, of Development Specialists Inc., a Chicago corporate finance and turnaround consulting firm, has taken over the post-bankruptcy selling of the stores.
GME continues to work with sister firm Indirect Capital Management, of Lawrenceville, Ga., to facilitate the purchases of the buyers it had arranged.
We are now getting the agreements to Caruso, Parkin said. Hes evaluating them.
GME also facilitated the 2007 sale of Heards Nashville store, Parkin said.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Northern Alabama will hold a hearing Friday to complete the process for selling the stores. Then, according to court documents, Bill Heard Enterprises will present final sale agreements to the court for approval.
GM then must approve buyers. After a store has a final sale agreement, Bill Heard Enterprises will place it in an auction to ensure the company has sold the store to the highest bidder.