Barrie, Ont. businessman Jamie Massie, the longtime owner of Georgian Chevrolet Buick GMC, has sold the high-volume dealership north of Toronto to Canada One Auto Group.
The Edmonton-based dealership group said Feb. 7 it had acquired the store, situated along a busy stretch of Ontario Highway 400 at the south end of Barrie, without disclosing the financial terms of the deal.
The business ranks among Canada’s largest General Motors dealerships, with numerous sales awards to its credit over the past decade. In the average year, it “easily” sells more than 2,000 new- and used-vehicles, according to Samir Akhavan, managing partner at buy/sell advisory Templeton Marsh.
The Massie family acquired the Barrie dealership in 1981. At the time, it served Pontiac and Buick customers. The store has relocated and shuffled the brands on its banner over the subsequent 40 years.
Georgian Chevrolet also served as the launch point for Massie’s wide-ranging business interests in the Barrie area, which are organized under Georgian International Ltd., a company Massie co-founded and serves as CEO. In addition to automotive retail, it has real estate development and hospitality operations, and previously served the aviation industry.
Among other entrepreneurial and community-oriented pursuits, Massie also once owned the Ontario Hockey League’s Barrie Colts.
He could not be immediately reached for comment.
Talks tied to the sale began in earnest last fall, according to Akhavan, who brokered the deal with support from Landon Robertson, director of corporate strategy and business development at Templeton Marsh.
The acquisition officially closed Feb. 6, with both buyer and seller happy with the outcome, Akhavan said. In Canada One Auto Group, he added, Massie found a buyer that was both a good cultural fit for the business, and one that would continue the family legacy.
“The timing was right. As we have always said, on the right day and for the right price, any dealer would sell. I think for [Massie], the time was right, and the price was right.”
Akhavan would not comment on the value of the acquisition, but said it is the largest single-dealership transaction Templeton Marsh has carried out to date. He estimated it is also the biggest single-store deal in Canadian auto retail history, though with most industry transactions remaining private, firm data is not available.
Canada One Auto Group, which is helmed by CEO Patrick Priestner, owns 28 new-vehicle dealerships in five provinces following the acquisition.
CORRECTION: The headline of a previous version of this story incorrectly identified the dealership group that purchased Georgian Chevrolet Buick GMC. Canada One Auto Group is the buyer.