LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. — Blue Moon International, a limousine operation based in Costa Mesa, Calif. and operating in the Orange and Los Angeles counties, has been purchased by Laguna Hills, Calif.-based CLI Worldwide in a deal that brings industry veteran and Greater California Livery Association president Mark Stewart to a leadership role at CLI.
GCLA president Mark Stewart joins CLI Worldwide as Managing Partner, pictured here in front of a Lincoln Town Car stretch limousine with Joe Magnano, CLI Worldwide president and CEO. CLI's acquisition of Blue Moon International limo service will generate more sales for the company and provide Blue Moon's clients with more diverse service levels and options.
Joe Magnano, CEO and president of CLI Worldwide, spoke to LCT on Jan. 7 but did not disclose the financials of the acquisition. Jan. 7 was the first day of operating the merged companies from CLI’s headquarters in Laguna Hills.
“As of now, CLI has a division called Blue Moon Limousine, and we will eventually dissolve the Blue Moon brand and absorb into CLI Worldwide,” Magnano said.
CLI hired some of Blue Moon’s staff, including 10 chauffeurs, 2 office staff, and former Blue Moon VP Mark Stewart, whose official title at CLI is Managing Partner. Stewart’s main focus will be managing CLI Worldwide’s sales division.
“Mark Stewart’s knowledge and experience running the GCLA board and being president, along with his affiliate connections, could transpire into a positive increase in sales,” Magnano said. “I think it’s a great move for us. The timing couldn’t have been any better. We’re in a great position to take a good part of the market share in the Orange County area.”
Blue Moon owner Mike Wilson and VP Mark Stewart were in talks with other Orange County companies interested in acquiring the operation, but felt that Orange County limo service CLI Worldwide was the best fit for their customers.
“I am absolutely delighted that Blue Moon has found a home in CLI Worldwide,” Mark Stewart said. “The process for finding the ‘right fit’ for our operation was a two-year quest focused on identifying a culture with similar vision on the direction of Blue Moon’s future growth. It was critical to partner with a company that recognized the value of our existing internal and external relationships and industry expertise. Our clients have been extremely receptive and supportive of our merger, particularly in light of the additional service levels we can provide by capitalizing on CLI Worldwide’s expansive national affiliate network.”
“We have the same kind of operation, the same kind of family mentality between the employees, and we can give Blue Moon’s clients the hands-on attention that they require,” Magnano said.
Magnano also bought an additional Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Town Car along with a recent new MKT Town Car that brings CLI Worldwide’s fleet count to 25. With the acquisition, Magnano will be looking to purchase a few more sedans and limousines to accommodate the increased business.
Blue Moon Limousine was founded in 1986 by Mike Wilson. Wilson has stated he will be moving on to a new venture outside the industry.
— Michael Campos, LCT associate editor