Industry Research

Tennessee Operators Join To Pursue New Markets

Posted on January 19, 2011 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

Bill Faeth of Silver Oak Transportation has sold his company to Grand Avenue Transportation run by operator Carl Haley.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Two Nashville-based chauffeured transportation companies recently closed a deal that leaves the combined company poised to branch into other transportation segments in the central Tennessee region.

Grand Avenue Transportation’s acquisition of Silver Oak Transportation will allow operators Carl Haley and Bill Faeth to work as financial partners in the combined operation, with Haley serving as CEO and Faeth as COO. The company will operate exclusively under the name of GRAND AVENUE CHAUFFEURED TRANSPORTATION.

Financial terms of the transaction, projected sales revenue for 2011, and ownership stakes were not disclosed by the privately-held company. Grand Avenue will start out operating a fleet of 26 company-owned vehicles with 33 chauffeurs and employees. No independent operators are part of the venture.

Faeth said Grand Avenue will now be the largest luxury chauffeured transportation provider based in Nashville, the state capital of Tennessee and the country music capital of the world. The combined forces of Grand Avenue and Silver Oak will position the company to take advantage of growth capital and rapidly expand into new transportation market segments, Faeth said. Further information on new segments could not be disclosed at this time.

“This transaction fits well with Grand Avenue’s brand and business strategy of making decisions designed to enhance the overall passenger experience,” said Carl Haley, Jr., Grand Avenue CEO and President, in a statement. “In addition, we believe it will provide significant opportunities with our new affiliate partners across the globe.” Grand Avenue can now make affiliate reservations in 465 cities worldwide.

In an interview with LCT Magazine, Faeth called the deal a “utopia of a situation for two companies to come together to be acquired, and become the largest company in Nashville.”

“We’re looking at continuing down the path with Carl Haley’s vision and open up new market segments that haven’t been tried,” said Faeth, also co-founder and vice president of the TENNESSEE LIVERY ASSOCIATION and a member of the National Limousine Association’s fundraising committee.

Faeth founded Silver Oak Transportation in 2006 and quickly built up the chauffeured company into an elite transportation provider in the Nashville region, becoming a finalist in 2009 for the LCT Operator Of The Year Award. Faeth also had acquired and later sold a chauffeured transportation company in Little Rock, Ark.

The combined effects of the severe recession and the May 2010 once-in-a-century Nashville floods seriously eroded Silver Oak’s market and financial position, making a sale a desired option, Faeth said. Nashville tourism and recreation was devastated overall last year with the extended closure of the GAYLORD OPRYLAND RESORT and the Opry Mills Mall.

Faeth, who wrote about his flood-related experiences in the August 2010 issue of LCT Magazine, also sustained financial losses from flood damage to the headquarters of his GLOW GOLF chain, which operates indoor glow-in-the-dark putt-putt golf facilities nationwide. The Opryland Hotel, which has 21% of Nashville’s convention space and about 18-20% of its hotel rooms, reopened Nov. 15, 2010.

“We look forward to working with Bill Faeth in his new role as Chief Operating Officer and his team of professional staff and chauffeurs,” Haley said in a statement. “Bill brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience and he will be instrumental in helping us better serve our clients and to grow our business.”

As of Tuesday, Grand Avenue was operating 26 vehicles, including Lincoln Town Car Executive L sedans, Mercedes S550 sedans, a Lexus L460 hybrid, stretch limousines, vans, executive vans, Mercedes Sprinters, a 22-passenger limo bus, mini-buses, and Bing Crosby’s old Rolls Royce.

Grand Avenue also has contracts to serve as the exclusive transportation provider for the National Predators hockey team, the Bridgestone Arena, and Vanderbilt University and Hospital.

— Martin Romjue, LCT editor

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