The transaction had been delayed because of a lawsuit by dealer Ed Napleton, who wanted to add the Long Island stores to his Illinois dealership group. Napleton's lawsuit said Jaguar Land Rover improperly used its right-of-first-refusal option when Napleton tried to buy the group. Instead of approving the Napleton deal, the purchase of the Jaguar Land Rover stores was assigned to Kadre, triggering the lawsuit and holding up the transaction.
Napleton's lawsuit was officially settled Dec. 16, the day after the transaction finally closed. Napleton's lawyer, Leo-nard Bellavia, confirmed the settlement but said he couldn't comment further because of a confidentiality agreement.
Richard Schoenstein, a lawyer who represented Long Island Automotive Group, confirmed by email that "a mutually satisfactory settlement has been reached."
It's the second such lawsuit involving right of first refusal to settle in recent months. Franchise agreements give most automakers the right to refuse the original buyer on a dealership transaction and assign the sale, with no changes to the terms, to a dealer of its choosing.
Bellavia also represented dealer Jonathan Sobel in a right-of-first-refusal lawsuit involving Sobel's attempted $30 million purchase of a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Fairfield, N.J. That lawsuit was settled in October.
Terms were not disclosed, but the dealership changed hands at that time to the buyers selected by the automaker. Kadre was one of the buyers in that case, too.