Bill Rapp Auto Group Acquires Mort Backus & Sons, Ogdensburg, NY

01.06.22 11:39 AM By Carrie Forbes
Nancy Phillips Associates is pleased to announce the sale of Mort Backus & Sons Chevrolet Buick to Bill Rapp Auto Group.

Mort Backus & Sons was started by Mort and Marie Backus more than 70 years ago. Marie worked at the dealership while raising four sons who went on to grow the business into the highly successful dealership it is today. The Backus brothers, Jack, Pat, Mike and Paul - who are now all over age 60 themselves - have worked together successfully under one roof throughout their long automotive careers.  

It was with great care and discretion that the Backus family choose a successor for their dealership.  Working closely with Nancy Phillips Associates, they were able to select a purchaser who they believe will carry on their tradition of the highest level of customer service and investment in the local community.  The dealership’s new owner is Brian Rapp of Syracuse, New York.  Brian is a third-generation member of a family that has enjoyed great success in the auto industry starting with his grandfather, Bill Rapp Senior and his father Bruce.  The Rapp family owns several New York dealerships including both General Motors and Subaru franchises. This acquisition represents the addition of their fourth dealership. 

The Sellers’ Experience: 
“Finding the right buyer was extremely important to us. Nancy and her group really helped us navigate the path to the buyer that we felt would take care of our employees and customers in the way that we wanted. The NPA team understood how important confidentiality was in protecting the future of our business, and worked hard to maintain our privacy until we were ready to make a move.  From evaluation all the way to closing, this discretion was a real testament to their professionalism and care, and that of the buyer they found for us. 

It was also critical that they understood the rural nature of our business and our clientele. They respected our many unique business traditions and found us a buyer who appreciates our history and marketing philosophy. Communication was great throughout the process. Nancy and Carrie always made time for us, and were never too busy to take our calls or answer our questions. They took great care to maintain consensus between the four owners. 

Nancy Phillips Associates gave us direct access to all the resources we needed, from appraisal, to parts inventory, to environmental assessment, to lawyers for the real estate and the business itself – which made everything happen on schedule, as smoothly as possible.  We are very happy with the results, and appreciate NPA’s work.”- Paul, Michael, John, and Patrick Backus 

The Buyer’s Experience: 
"Nancy and her team are very easy to work with. They stayed on top of everything, kept me focused and had the experience to guide me though all the steps that needed to take place before closing.  I found them to be more communicative and involved than people from previous transactions I’ve been involved with. They definitely know the process of gaining manufacturer approval, bank approval, and everything else needed for a successful closing. 

Carrie constantly followed up to make sure that the communication with the manufacturer, lawyers, and others happened as it should.  The process can be a bit of a moving target, but NPA’s relationship with the vendors was very helpful in shifting things around to accommodate the schedule for manufacturer approvals. If you work with the Nancy Phillips team on the buy OR sell side of a transaction, you can expect the top-notch service, communication, and resources you need for a successful transaction." - Brian Rapp 

Nancy Phillips Associates:
"Of the many clients we have worked with over three decades, serving the Backus family has been particularly rewarding.  When the Backus brothers explained what was important to them, we made every effort to find just the right person to match the culture the Backus family has nurtured for so many years. Brian who comes from a family run business with a focus on customers and community was the perfect fit. Every dealer who sells is happier when their own individual legacy is honored and we are proud to have supported the Backus family in reaching their goal."- Nancy Phillips

As part of the dealership transition plan, Paul Backus will remain in a management position for a period of time before moving on to join his brothers in enjoying the next phase of their lives. The new name of the Dealership is Bill Rapp Chevrolet of Ogdensburg.