CLA Advises on Sale of Miller Auto to Gilleland Enterprises
CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen LLP) announced today that it helped Miller Auto find a new owner. Started in 1932 as a small repair shop operated by John Miller, the father of selling owner Tom Miller, the automotive dealership’s operations have grown to include new models of GMC, Nissan, Buick, and Lincoln, along with a huge selection of pre-owned makes and models. Gilleland Enterprises now takes over as the new owner.
A closely held family business and long-time CLA client, Miller sought a buyer that would preserve the dealership’s legacy of service and strong presence in the community, and allow the current owners, Tom Miller and Chance Haakonson, to retain Miller’s marine sales and operations.
“One of our main objectives was to find a buyer for the automotive operations that understood the dealership’s value in the community,” said Ben Axelrod, head of the investment banking practice at CLA. “But we also were keen to find a buyer that would make sure the transition of the automotive operations to a new owner — while maintaining the marine operations under current ownership and management — went very smoothly.”
Mrudul Sharma, principal in CLA’s dealership practice, added, “We continue to see strong interest in dealerships with solid market dynamics. The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of working with buyers we believe have the long-term vision and resolve to complete transactions.”
Tom Miller stated, "Gilleland has been a tough competitor over the years and I am proud to sell to a local company that treats their employees well. We enjoy a great long-term partnership with CLA and they have been by our side as we grew our company. Chance and I are very pleased with the outcome and believe the Gilleland family will continue to provide our employees with great opportunities for success.”
The CLA team included Mrudul Sharma, Scott Gorden, and Pat Fuist in the national dealership practice, and Ben Axelrod and Derek Murphy of CLA Wealth Advisors.
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