Holiday Automotive stays in family with sale of 3 dealerships

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A company extended into the next generation Aug. 1 when Mike Shannon sold Holiday Automotive in Fond du Lac, Wis., to his son, Michael Shannon Jr., according to Scott Mackie of buy-sell firm National Business Brokers.

The younger Michael Shannon bought three franchised dealerships: Holiday Chevrolet-Buick-GMC-Cadillac, Holiday Mazda and Holiday Ford. A used-car store and collision shop were included in the deal.

Fond du Lac is on the south end of Lake Winnebago, the state’s largest inland lake, and is northwest of Milwaukee.

Mackie, senior vice president of the Midwest for National Business Brokers of Irvine, Calif., brokered the transaction. Mackie said the businesses are in a great location and the Shannon family “knocks it out of the park.”

Shannon Jr. is dealer principal of the stores and Thor Gilbertson is CEO. As part of the transaction, Shannon Jr.’s three sisters also received an increase in their minority shares of the business, Mackie told Automotive News. Details weren’t disclosed.

Mackie said Mike Shannon and his wife also retained stock in the company and will continue to own the real estate.

Mike Shannon joined the business in 1972, starting out as a salesman, before he and two partners purchased 25 percent of the company in 1979, Mackie said. Mike Shannon eventually became the sole owner in 2002, and though he considered other buyers and offers, he ultimately decided to keep the business in the family and bring the second generation on board, according to Mackie.

Mackie said the family does everything to perfection, including its used-vehicle store, which is decorated in the style of a diner.

“Everything they’ve got is state-of-the-art,” Mackie said. “It’s a beautiful thing, very customer-focused.”

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