"In the next five to seven years I want to own 90-plus stores," said Darwish, previously a 25 percent partner in an Audi dealership and a former platform manager for Napleton Automotive Group. "That's my dream and I'm chasing it."
The deal is the largest buy-sell transaction documented by Automotive News so far this year in terms of the number of dealerships sold. And Automotive News' tracking shows that dealership acquisitions, coming off a record 2021, remain in high gear.
For the first quarter of 2022, Automotive News so far has counted 71 transactions involving the sale of 102 dealerships. For the second quarter of this year, Automotive News has thus far counted 28 deals involving 39 dealerships. Those numbers will continue to grow as information on additional deals is collected.
In the first quarter of 2021, Automotive News tracked 69 acquisition deals involving 106 dealerships.
Buy-sell experts such as Alan Haig, president of Haig Partners, a buy-sell firm in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., project that the rapid pace of dealership acquisitions will continue in 2022 because buyers are flush from cash as dealerships earn record profits.
"It's going to remain elevated," Haig said.
Brady Schmidt, president of buy-sell firm National Business Brokers in Irvine, Calif., said the volume of stores coming to market is "a little slower than last year."