Torrey Pines co-owner Anne Daniells (2nd from L) and her team of company managers received a 2015 LCT Operator of the Year Award on March 17 during the International LCT Show in Las Vegas, Nev. LCT Publisher Sara Eastwood-Richardson (L) and Bobit Business Media CEO Ty Bobit (R) gave out the award.
SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Operators Brian and Anne Daniells could serve as an example on how to end things, or sell a company, on the highest note in the limousine industry.
Owners of Torrey Pines Transportation since 2011, the couple closed a deal Oct. 1 to sell their 17-vehicle operation to Dav El/Boston Coach Chauffeured Transportation Network, a division of Boston-based Marcou Transportation Group [no website]. Terms were not disclosed.
The sale timing could not have been better when considering the progress of the company and the personal goals of the Daniells. “This is a good business and we’ve done a lot with it,” Anne Daniells told LCT on Oct. 7. “We worked very hard to make it legitimate, and more than doubled the size of it. It’s not easy to work in this industry and it can be risky. We had a good time and have other things ahead of us. We were ready. It was more for personal reasons than anything.”
The Daniells listed Torrey Pines with a broker, which attracted the attention of Boston Coach, one of the largest chauffeured transportation networks in the world. A press release Tuesday mentioned that the company is going on a buying binge of limousine services around the U.S. Torrey Pines was not a Boston Coach or Dav El affiliate.
Torrey Pines reported revenue of $2.59 million in 2014, according to the San Diego Business Journal. By achieving 47% growth from 2012 to 2014, the business ranked 85th on the Journal’s most recent list of Fastest-Growing Private Companies. The business had 40 local, full-time employees as of March 1, and ran sedans, SUVs, mini-coaches and Tesla electric sedans. Boston Coach bought the newer fleet vehicles as part of the deal, and plans to increase its fleet to handle its Southern California runs, Anne Daniells said.
The Daniells acquired Torrey Pines in 2011 after Brian Daniells, a CFO consultant, was retained by the previous owners to invigorate the company. The Daniells thought it would be a good investment and spent four years improving all aspects of its operations. Their efforts paid off in March when Torrey Pines won the 2015 LCT Operator of the Year Award in the 11-30 fleet vehicles category.
By acquiring Torrey Pines, Boston Coach gets a ready, turnkey operation with complete facilities, experienced employees and newer vehicles, Anne Daniells said. It can use the company as a base to grow its market share in the Southern California region.
“Boston Coach is big and they can take it the next level,” Daniells said. “You invest part of yourself into something and you’d like to see it treated swell going forward. They have the wherewithal to do that.”
All employees were offered jobs with the new operation, Daniells said. Torrey Pines/Boston Coach is now run by Joe West, with Torrey Pines operations manager Frank Casara staying on. The Daniells will help with the business transition but do not have formal roles under the new ownership.
“Had we sold to someone more local, it would have been quick end for the office staff,” Anne Daniells said. “The deal made sense for us personally and also makes sense for the employees continuing.”
“We worked with a great group of people who worked diligently at our business and cared for it as their own,” Brian Daniells said. “There is much passion in this industry and it’s been very enjoyable to know so many [operators] really caring about service, experience, and safety.”
Anne also resigned Oct. 6 as Secretary of the Greater California Livery Association, a position she held since January 2014. The Daniells said they plan to evaluate various opportunities and offers before deciding on their next professional moves. For now, Anne, also a free-lance writer and editor, said she looks forward to writing somewhere on a tropical beach.