State’s largest dealership gets new owner

A self-described entrepreneur who created his own motor vehicle fix and flip operation as a 16-year-old has acquired a Honda, Yamaha, Polaris, BRP, Can-Am, Sea-Doo, Spyder, Kawasaki and Suzuki dealership — Redline Powersports of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The state’s largest dealership is now under the ownership of Jonathan Waters. The sale was brokered by Tom Macatee, CEO of Powersports Listings M&A.

Jonathan Waters (left) and Larry Brooks on the Redline Powersports showroom floor.

Waters also has experience in Quality Control Management at Briggs and Stratton; Finance Management, Sales Management and General Management roles across retail dealership brands including Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Polaris, Suzuki, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge Ram, and most recently Toyota. His entrepreneurial knack for fix and flip graduated into residential real estate outside of normal business hours.

Waters purchased the 51,500 square-foot flagship Honda, Yamaha, Polaris, BRP-Can-Am, Sea-Doo, Spyder, Kawasaki, and Suzuki dealership from industry veteran Larry Brooks. Brooks still owns and operates Commonwealth Powersports, a Honda, Yamaha, Polaris-Slingshot, Kawasaki and Suzuki dealership in the Richmond, Virginia area.

After 33 years in the industry and operating two large dealerships 300 miles apart for more than a decade, Brooks’ professional schedule had him spending much of his time in Virginia and had expanded into additional business interests outside of powersports. This logistical challenge eventually compelled Brooks to sell his Myrtle Beach operation. Industry references recommended that he hire Powersports Listings M&A (PLMA) to manage his sale and Brooks followed that recommendation.

PLMA worked diligently for nearly two years to find the right candidate for the purchase. Jerry Szopinski, PLMA's President of Sales, commented, "It often takes more time to find a buyer for the larger multi-line dealerships, and our portfolio of over 30 correlated dealership listings provides the necessary pipeline to make those deals happen."

Waters nearly purchased two Atlanta-area dealerships through PLMA in early 2019. Even though that transaction did not come to fruition, his positive experience with the PLMA team motivated him to stay in the pipeline for another powersports dealership opportunity. Once the introduction was made with Brooks in late 2019, the buy-sell transaction was on a rock-solid path to closing with PLMA's guidance.

Waters stated, "PLMA's expertise was incredible in providing the support I needed from the deal negotiation, legal and accounting references, OEM applications, business plans, and the list goes on." 

Brooks commented at closing, "In working with PLMA for nearly two years, I fully appreciate their tenacity and the fact that they saw everything through to the final hour of closing. They even hosted a celebration dinner. Job well done."

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