Route 66 called.
But first Dick Hedahl needed a road
map for selling his business.

Dick Hedahl’s family history with his auto parts company
traveled back three generations to 1906 – but the call of
the southwest and no clear path for a family member to
continue his business triggered a decision to sell. “Our
history started as a hardware store for homesteaders, and
included car dealerships for Model T’s and Durant Mo-
tor cars in the early 1900s, and then auto parts by the
1930s,” says Dick.
He joined the company in 1972 and became CEO in
1986 when the company had 12 stores plus a warehouse
and equipment company. Dick grew it to 23 stores, head-
quartered in Bismarck, ND. “The primary reason for our
company’s success is the talent of our people – and we
had lots of talent at Hedahls,” says Dick.

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“Internally, when we were discussing what to do, I kept coming back to Crescenda Merger &
Acquisition Advisors. Jim Odney knew us and knew how to sell Hedahls. Crescenda put to-
gether an offering memorandum, and Jim and I collaborated on who to talk to. They have the
resources to figure out the best potential buyers and from an initial list of over three hundred,
we had a dozen serious prospects including the largest auto parts companies in the country. We
narrowed it down to six that made offers. Crescenda gained leverage from having many interest-
ed buyers including a $15 billion company. We boiled it down to three that were the best fit and
negotiated a deal with Auto Parts Headquarters, who had 101 stores and very little overlap.”

“Jim Odney has a natural sales ability. When he’s talking to anyone, he listens and understands
their needs. He’s good at relating to buyers and getting them the right info to make a decision.
He has a great understanding of the numbers and the value the buyer is getting - so when he’s
presenting to a CEO or CFO, he talks their language and connects. Crescenda also has a
team to create the presentation package that is professional – with numbers and a narrative that
helps enhance interest.”

So, what’s ahead now? “Life is good,” says Dick. “We decided to move to Arizona.” His wife,
Gloria, is a serious golfer. “So we now live in a beautiful golf course community. As for me,
I’ve been a serious car guy since I was a teenager. I know everything about every car I’ve ever
owned. One night, while Gloria and I were on Main Street in Bismarck for the monthly car
parade, I was pining about how I wish I had some of those cars back again. She said, ‘Why don’t
you go buy one?’ So, I did, and I now own a fabulous ’68 Corvette 427, like the one I owned in
the ‘70s. Recently, we drove it from Bismarck to Arizona, hitting old Route 66 along the way.
That was a good time.”


Dick and Gloria Hedahl

gettin’ their kicks on Route 66