Texas dealer Mac Haik entered a bid today to buy the Houston area Chevrolet dealership of bankrupt Bill Heard Enterprises Inc., bringing the total number of spoken-for Heard stores to four. That figure likely will double in the next few days, says a Heard attorney.
At a bankruptcy hearing in Alabama today, attorney Robert Rubin said Heard Enterprises has reached agreements to sell its two Las Vegas stores; its store in Plant City, Fla.; and a fourth in Sugar Land, Texas, near Houston.
Sales contracts on an additional four dealerships are pending, Rubin said. He did not identify which ones.
Before filing for Chapter 11 protection last month, Heard Enterprises operated 14 dealerships in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.We are making progress, Rubin told Judge Jack Caddell of U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Its a minute-by-minute process.
The latest bid comes from Haik, whose offer to buy the Sugar Land dealership was entered in the court record today. Haiks seven-store dealership group ranks No. 77 on Automotive News list of the top 125 U.S. dealership groups, with an estimated 10,200 new retail vehicles sold in 2007.
Haik did not immediately return a call requesting comment.
Michigan dealer Joe Serra was the first to step forward, entering a bid Friday to buy Heard Enterprises two Las Vegas stores. Next came Tom Durant, owner of the countrys top-selling Chevrolet store in 2006 and 2007. He made a bid Monday to buy the Plant City dealership, near Tampa.
Durant called his bid a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Its really hard to go buy a store of the magnitude that these stores are without having to pay through the nose, he told Automotive News.
All of the offers submitted to date are bids only. If more potential buyers step forward with better offers before Nov. 10, an auction will be held at the offices of the Birmingham, Ala., law firm Burr & Forman LLP. Judge Caddell must approve the sales. A hearing for that purpose has been set for Nov. 12.The wind-down and liquidation of Heard Enterprises and its subsidiaries is being financed by former floorplan lenders GMAC LLC and Alphera Financial Services, a division of BMW Financial Services NA LLC.
Those financing agreements, which give Heard Enterprises access to a combined $6.7 million, expired Friday. At the hearing today, Caddell approved motions from Heard Enterprises to extend both agreements until Nov. 7, with an option to extend them until Nov. 21.
In doing so, Caddell overruled an objection by GE Commercial Finance Business Property Corp. -- which argued, among other objections, that the agreements do not provide for payment of real estate taxes on property that GE leases to Heard Enterprises.
If we dont extend the financing, it cuts the legs off the whole case, Caddell said. And from what Im hearing, there are four sales that are working and four more that could be working.