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Dispute of sale of Florida car dealership prompts lawsuit

Business disputes involving Florida businesses occur on a regular basis. They can happen with virtually any type of business including car dealerships. An automotive company recently filed a lawsuit against owner of a Florida car dealership because of a purchase agreement gone wrong.

Group 1 Automotive Inc. claims that the owner of the dealership, Prestige Motor Car Imports Inc., is not following through on its end of the deal. This, it alleges, is despite agreeing to terms of the deal after a period of negotiation.

Specifically, Group 1 alleges that Prestige did not:

  • Provide access to operations and financial data.
  • Notify the dealership, Audi, about the transaction.
  • Approve a lease for the dealership property.

In addition, Prestige reportedly sent a letter to Group 1 indicating that it did not intend to do those things.

In response to the allegations, Prestige’s lawyer said that the deal was actually comprised of three different agreements and lease agreement and real estate contract were not agreed to by both parties. He asserts that as the three contracts were all dependent upon each other, none of them were valid. Accordingly, Prestige did not have a duty to complete the due diligence requested by Group 1.

According to Prestige there were other reasons why the deal was not complete. The first is that the purchase price articulated on the purchase agreement was up to $12 million less than it should have been. In addition, the company alleges Group one disclosed the possible deal to the Audi dealership, wreaking havoc with employees and violating the confidentiality agreement.

How the dispute will be resolved is unclear.

It is not uncommon for business deals, such as this one, to be complicated. Accordingly, it is particularly important that all parties to contracts such as these work with lawyers. When issues do arise, those individuals are generally in the best position to resolve them.

Source: Automotive News, “Group 1 sues Florida dealership over buy-sell dispute,” Jamie LaReau  , June 26, 2014

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