CLEVELAND, Ohio — First Class Limos of Cleveland was bought by a local and insurance agency owner in August, giving him a long-sought opportunity to run a well-known brand.
The purchase includes 14 vehicles including several state of the art luxury limousines, including Hummer and Chrysler 300 stretch limousines ideal for retail and party clients. First Class also offers sedans and SUVs for corporate clients. Owner/operator Jimmy Michalek will continue to provide marketing/SEO consulting to the new management team. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“First Class Limos is a well-run company with outstanding brand recognition,” said Troy Ramey, owner of Buckeye State Insurance Agency of Medina, Ohio. “I had been looking for the right business for three years. This company's one million-plus website hits per year is an excellent foundation for continued growth.”
Ramey expects no management or personnel changes at First Class Limos.
Michalek retained The Tenney Group in 2011 to advise on the sale. He founded the company in 2003 and had been running it since. He hired The Tenney Group to help him transition back to his preferred career field of technology/marketing.
“The Tenney Group prepared me for a variety of different issues that would ultimately influence the success of the deal,” Michalek said. “Their knowledge and ability to work with lenders was critical to this deal's success.”
The Tenney Group is a national business brokerage that focuses exclusively on business sales, acquisitions, and business valuations in the transportation industry.
From the date of hiring The Tenney Group to the day of closing, the transaction time took 360 days. Almost half of that time was required to get the deal financed.
“First Class Limos is an excellent business. Jimmy is exiting this industry on his terms because he approached the sale process proactively at a time when he did not need to sell,” said Charles Tenney, senior managing partner of The Tenney Group.
Ramey added, “We had a deal under contract in a matter of weeks. That is when the real deal making began and also when I became thankful this transaction process was being led by the industry specialist [that] knew how to demonstrate business value in the transportation industry and how to effectively work with lenders in a very conservative lending climate.”
Source: The Tenney Group