Industry Mergers & Acquisitions: Five Companies have recently changed hands

Posted on October 4, 2003 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

A Pennsylvania limousine company has purchased another operator, two South Florida firms have merged, and three other firms in Florida and California have new owners in a recent spate of merger and acquisitions activity.

* Celebrity Limousine & Transportation Services in Malvern, Pa., acquired Hermes Transportation of Exton, Pa.

Hermes Transportation had 33 vehicles and annual revenue of $2.8 million, giving Celebrity a total of 53 vehicles and annual revenues of $5.6 million, according to Celebrity CEO/president Dennis Adams. William Kronenberg, Hermes’ CEO/president, is not staying with the firm.

* Sterling Limo Services of South Florida merged with Elegant Limousine in a deal with was facilitated through a partnership between Charles Tenney & Associates, a consulting firm based in Arlington, Texas, and broker Michael Lawrence.

The new company goes by the name Sterling Limousine and operates about 40 vehicles; 2003 revenues were expected to be between $2.5 million and $3 million.

Sterling was founded in 1994 by CEO John Lenhard and specializes in destination management and corporate events. Elegant Limousine, of Dania, Fla., was owned by Richard and Cecilia Jaffe and had a business mix and pricing philosophy similar to Sterling’s.

Lenhard is serving as president and CEO of the merged firm and Cecilia Jaffee is operations manager. Richard Jaffee has returned to his roots in the real estate industry.

* Top Cat Limousine, operating 15 vehicles out of LaJolla, Calif., was purchased by William James from Russell van Huizum, who formed the company in 1992.

* Gold Coast Limousine, which operates sedans, limos and buses in Orange County, Calif., was purchased by G. Keith Mitchell from David and Lori Fenton, who formed the company in 1993. The Top Cat and Gold Coast deals were facilitated by Tenney Associates and Lawrence.

* Brian Waugh sold Embassy Limousine Service in Clearwater, Fla., to two employees, Marco Lopez and Doug Chancey.

Embassy operates 28 vehicles and had $1.3 million in revenues in 2002. The company’s new name is Embassy Limousine and Sedan Service.

Lopez, the new company president, is in charge of sales and marketing, and Chancey, the vice president, is in charge of the day-to-day operations.

Waugh, who started the company in 1993, is now the executive vice president and will remain an active part of the business, Chancey said.

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