A unit of Pohlad Companies, the business conglomerate that includes the Minnesota Twins, J.B. Hudson Jewelers and United Properties, Monday upped its stake in the Twin Cities luxury automobile market with the acquisition of Audi, Porsche and Mercedes dealerships.
Pohlad's Twin Cities Automotive (TCA) announced the purchase of Carousel Audi and Porsche in Golden Valley, and Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche in Maplewood.
All four dealerships are owned by LeJeune Investment Corp. Terms were not disclosed.
The deal, which requires manufacturer approval, nearly doubles the number of Pohlad-owned dealerships from five to nine in Minnesota and will likely increase sales volume by 40 percent to 50 percent, said Brad Braun, TCA's chief financial officer.
"Larry [LeJeune] built a great business and we're buying for that reputation," Braun said in a telephone interview.
The deal was described by LeJeune as "a good fit" for employees and customers.
"LeJeune and TCA share family-oriented corporate cultures and values [and] are known for the quality of their operations," LeJeune said in a statement.
LeJeune purchased Carousel in 1981 and added the Maplewood stores in 1993.
Key Cadillac President Michael Stanzak said the current Twin Cities market for luxury cars is "very competitive."
"Manufacturers are making great cars and have outstanding deals for customers," Stanzak said. "The economy is coming back, and there's pent-up demand for luxury vehicles."
TCA was formed in 2008 for the purchase of BMW of Minnetonka, the since-remodeled dealership on Interstate 394 that claims honors as the largest indoor BMW showroom in North America.
TCA subsequently acquired Coon Rapids Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, Inver Grove Hyundai, St. Cloud Hyundai and North Branch Chevrolet. The two Hyundai stores were formerly owned by fallen auto mogul Denny Hecker.
"We want to get bigger in the Twin Cities market and that includes growing our existing businesses and through acquisitions," Braun said.
Braun said the auto brands and locations of the LeJeune dealerships matched TCA's internal guidelines.
"We are not anticipating any name changes," Braun said. "There is great customer value in those names."
Braun also said all current employees at the dealerships will keep their jobs under the new ownership.
The deal is expected to close between Nov. 1 and the end of the year.
The Pohlad interests also include radio station K-TWIN; the independent film production company River Road Entertainment; Marquette Financial Companies; Marquette Real Estate Group, and several technology companies.
David Phelps 612-673-7269