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MAPLE SHADE, N.J., April 12, 2016 – Holman Automotive, of Maple Shade, New Jersey, will acquire Kuni Automotive, of Vancouver, Washington, in a deal that not only creates one of the largest privately owned dealer networks in the country, but also ensures a long future for a major charitable foundation.
The acquisition, expected to be finalized this summer, will create a bi-coastal dealer network with 33 dealerships and more than $3 billion in overall annual revenue, doubling Holman Automotive’s retail holdings. Holman currently has dealerships in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida. Kuni Automotive, with dealerships in Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado and Kansas, will maintain its brand name and will be known as “Kuni Automotive, a Holman Enterprise.” The terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
As a result of this deal, the majority shareholder in Kuni Automotive, the Wayne D. Kuni and Joan E. Kuni Foundation, a charitable foundation that has supported cancer research and worked to enhance the lives of developmentally disabled adults since 2005, will be able to fund its work well into the future. Additionally, the foundation expects to be able to broaden the scope and geography of its charitable outreach.
“Our two companies share a deep culture of charity and community service,” said Melinda K. Holman, Chairman of the Board of Holman, who will join the board of the Kuni Foundation. “Knowing that more than half of the proceeds will go to the Kuni Foundation and serve people in need for decades to come is a wonderful byproduct of this transaction.”
It was vital to Kuni Automotive CEO Greg Goodwin to find a buyer who not only shares his company’s values, but would also create a company that is not just bigger, but better.
“We are creating a company that is greater than the sum of its parts,” said Goodwin, who will remain with the company in a leadership position. “It’s easy to get lost in the ‘bigness’ of this transaction, but ‘big’ doesn’t serve a purpose if it doesn’t improve the company.”
Holman’s Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer William Cariss has been responsible for overseeing the Holman-Kuni transaction from start to finish. Once the transaction is complete, Cariss will be responsible for identifying future investment opportunities across Holman’s business segments.
“As we consider future opportunities, we hope to find companies, like we did with Kuni, that have similar values and work ethics that blend well with the Holman culture,” Cariss said.
Holman’s expansion comes at a time of consolidation and innovation in the automotive industry.
“Our acquisition of Kuni comes at a time when these two organizations have never been stronger. We are well-positioned to remain a leader in the auto industry as it continues to evolve. What’s more, we are well-placed for future growth in all of Holman’s business segments,” said Holman CEO Carl Ortell. “We’re creating a company with a global footprint that will allow our people to explore new career opportunities within the larger organization.”
Holman plans to remain a privately owned company as it continues to grow and flourish.
“Plan A is to remain a family-owned company for generations to come,” Holman said. “And there is no Plan B.”
Holman, headquartered in Maple Shade, New Jersey, is an international automotive services company, which employs more than 4,800 people. Beginning in 1924 as a single Ford dealership, Holman has evolved to encompass five business segments that support diverse sectors of the automotive market: Holman Automotive, a retail automotive group consisting of 19 dealerships throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida; Steward Financial Services, an auto retail finance company; Holman Parts Distribution, a national multi-brand powertrain parts distributor; Auto Truck Group, a truck up-fitting business; and ARI, the largest privately-owned fleet leasing and management company in North America. Holman, a family-owned business, focuses on building relationships and investing in people. With values rooted by founder Steward C. Holman, the company continues to promote a culture of philanthropy, which supports organizations such as the United Way and others important to the Holman team.
Following the completion of its acquisition of Kuni Automotive in 2016, Holman will become one of the largest privately owned dealership groups in the nation.
With 14 dealerships located in five western states and more than 1,450 employees, Kuni Automotive is a family-owned company that strives to treat each one of its customers as a member of the family. It was founded in 1970 by Wayne Kuni, then an investment manager for Motors Company, a division of General Motors, as Kuni Cadillac in Beaverton, Oregon, growing to the company it is today through a series of well-planned acquisitions. Following Wayne Kuni’s death in 2006, the Wayne D. Kuni and Joan E. Kuni Foundation became the largest shareholder in the company, meaning that each sale benefitted a charitable organization that supports cancer research and works to enhance the lives of developmentally disabled adults in the Pacific Northwest.