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AutoCanada buys Mann dealerships in Sask.; oldest family run GM stores in Canada

The Canadian Press

EDMONTON - AutoCanada Inc. (TSX:ACQ) is acquiring the two oldest family run General Motors dealerships in Canada for an undisclosed price.

AutoCanada says it has received approval from General Motors of Canada to purchase a 70 per cent non-voting equity interest in Saskatoon Motor Products Ltd., a Chevrolet dealership, and Mann-Northway Auto Source Ltd., a Chevrolet GMC Buick Cadillac dealership, in Prince Albert, Sask.

The two dealerships are owned and operated by Roger Mann, a third-generation dealer, and his son, Robert.

The Mann family have been General Motors dealers for 100 years since their first store was founded by Andrew Mann in 1914, according to AutoCanada, the country's largest publicly traded dealership group.

"The purchase of the two dealerships closed upon obtaining approval from GM Canada.," Edmonton-based AutoCanada added in a statement.

Under the ownership structure approved by GM Canada, AutoCanada purchased a 70 per cent non-voting equity interest, with AutoCanada CEO Pat Priestner named dealer operator by holding a 15 per cent personal equity interest and voting control of the dealership.

Robert Mann will be named dealer owner and will retain a 15 per cent equity interest in the two dealerships and will continue to operate the dealerships.

Although exact terms of the purchase were not disclosed, AutoCanada said it would acquire its 70 per cent interest partly through the payment of 205,000 shares, with the undisclosed remainder in cash.

Based on the Tuesday afternoon trading price of AutoCanada shares — $45.60, up $2.10 or 4.83 per cent — the share value of the purchase would be more than $9.3 million.

AutoCanada is one of Canada's largest multi-location automobile dealership groups, currently operating 34 franchised dealerships under various makes in seven provinces and with more than 1,500 employees.