Prime Automotive reportedly wanting to market all dealerships in Maine

Key Automotive Group is searching to provide its 31 dealerships, which includes the 7 it owns in Maine, trade publication Automotive Information is reporting.

Toyota and Volkswagen have threatened to revoke their respective franchise agreements with two Primary Motor Group dealerships in Saco for the reason that of alleged breaches of contract. Ben McCanna/Team Photographer, file

The Massachusetts-based mostly organization has been swirling in controversy for a long time, capped in February when the head of its dad or mum organization, GPB Funds Holdings, was arrested and charged with fraud.

Automotive Information reported a different seller in the Northeast submitted a bid for some of the dealerships two months back, but was rebuffed and explained to that Prime Automotive was only fascinated in promoting all of its dealerships in a one transaction.

A spokeswoman for Primary Automotive Group declined to comment on the report Friday but did not refute its findings. The company’s Maine holdings include Prime Toyota, Prime Volkswagen, Key Ford, Prime Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM and Primary Honda, all in Saco.

Primary Automotive is ranked between the 20 prime-offering dealership groups in the United States and bought additional than 31,500 new cars last calendar year, Automotive Information said.

In addition to the fraud prices and lawsuits submitted by traders, Primary Automotive is remaining sued by David Rosenberg, whose late father, Ira Rosenberg, created a string of dealerships in Maine and then offered them to GPB Funds in 2017.

David Rosenberg, who was at first named head of the dealerships by the new operator, was fired immediately after he claimed worries over the economic dealings of GPB Capital and Key Automotive. Rosenberg’s match alleges that GPB Cash has not bought back his ownership stake in Prime Automotive as was outlined in his employment contract.

Key Automotive or entities connected with GPB Money also deal with lawsuits filed by a Texas regulation agency, which alleges the firm defrauded investors of $1.8 billion and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which mentioned 180 traders in the condition have dropped $14 million.

Those people lawsuits echo numerous of Rosenberg’s allegations. He reported the guardian firm promised to pay out traders from income, but as an alternative employed cash from new buyers to pay back individuals who experienced set in funds right before. In that way, he said, it operated like an illegal Ponzi plan.

Both Toyota and Volkswagen have threatened to revoke their franchise agreements with their affiliated Prime Automotive dealerships in Saco as a consequence of alleged breaches of deal stemming from the ouster of David Rosenberg. The automakers demanded that the dealerships be bought or Rosenberg be reinstated as CEO.

Automotive Information quoted resources mentioned to be common with Prime’s programs who mentioned the automotive team would like to complete the sale of its dealerships by the stop of the calendar year.

The business journal mentioned that the company reported fiscal troubles as recently as June, but was in a position to renegotiate a credit rating deal that should really make it possible for it to satisfy its monetary obligations right until mid-2022, in accordance to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Trade Fee.

The fraud fees, which are nonetheless pending in federal court docket, worry practically $700 million lifted from buyers for Prime Automotive to obtain dealerships. The traders were promised 8 % annual returns, but people payments stopped in 2018.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has also filed a lawsuit on equivalent allegations in opposition to GPB Money, which it reported was working “a Ponzi-like scheme” with investors’ cash. Some states and teams of traders have also filed lawsuits in opposition to GPB Money.

The SEC said buyers were being instructed their annual distributions would appear from business earnings, but as a substitute starting off in 2015, at minimum some came from money that new buyers had been depositing in the company. In a Ponzi scheme, older investors are compensated with money from newer buyers, instead than from reputable corporation earnings.

The 3 executives who have been arrested in February were being David Gentile, the founder, operator and chief government of GPB Capital Holdings Jeffry Schneider, the operator and CEO of Ascendant Capital and Jeffrey Lash, a former taking care of spouse of GPB Cash. All three had been charged with wire and securities fraud in federal court in New York.

GPB Funds and the three executives who had been arrested have denied the charges.

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