Templeton Marsh brokers historic deal in Quebec by Groupe Olivier

January 11, 2023

Templeton Marsh Mergers and Acquisitions brokered the sale of four dealerships owned by Le Groupe Lachapelle to Groupe Olivier — a move that is considered significant in the Quebec automotive industry.

Templeton Marsh Co-founder and Managing Partner Samir Akhavan told Canadian auto dealer the deal, which closed on January 3, is the biggest one since he opened his business in November 2010. While he did not want to reveal the specifics of the
deal (due to confidentiality), Akhavan believes it is one of the largest in Quebec’s automotive history.

“Quebec is a bit of a newcomer to the automotive consolidation business,” said Akhavan. “Things that happened in Ontario or Western Canada three or four years ago are starting to happen in Quebec, in terms of mergers and acquisitions activity.”

Akhavan said the deal was done through the relationship he had with Gilles Lachapelle, whom he met five years ago.

Lachapelle has been in business for more than 29 years and operated one of the largest Honda dealerships in Canada. Akhavan said he stayed in touch with Lachapelle, a second-generation dealer, who told him he and his family decided last year it was the right time to sell his dealership group. Lachapelle asked him to be his agent.

“They gave me a checklist of what they were looking for, the kind of buyer they were looking for — what they wanted, what they didn’t want — and I had just completed a very challenging acquisition with Groupe Oliver in New Brunswick and they have
been absolutely amazing as a buyer,” said Akhavan. “I said, ‘Okay, this is the match.’”

The four dealerships are Hamel Honda, Honda Ste-Rose Honda, Mazda de Laval, and Chomedey Toyota. He said in a “regular” year the stores collectively sell 10,000 new and used cars. He added that they collect annually in the “very significant low to mid
nine figures” in gross revenue.

Groupe Olivier owner Jacques Olivier has been a dealer for almost 30 years and now has 21 dealerships representing eight brands.

The deal was consummated with the help of Sylvie Gagnon, whom Akhavan hired in September 2022 as his director of sales, feeling he needed someone who spoke French, had a deep understanding of Quebec culture, and had a pulse on the province’s dealership industry. She had previously worked for 16 years as ScotiaBank Quebec’s general sales manager.

“She was very instrumental in ensuring the deal went smoothly and closed,” said Akhavan. “She’s Quebecois, understood the culture and knew both buyer and seller previously. She was able to fit right in, and it was the ability to build relationships. It’s the fact [that] people trust us and I was able to gain the trust of a family to basically sell their legacy.”

Groupe Olivier sells Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan and Chrysler, Jeep, Ram, Fiat and Dodge. It is one of the largest dealership groups in Quebec.

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