An unresolved family squabble in Fresno opened the door for a Seattle-area businessman to add to his portfolio of luxury car dealerships by buying the former Weber BMW dealership.
Al Monjazeb, who owns Bentley, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Jaguar and Land Rover dealerships in Bellevue, Wash., closed his purchase of Weber BMW in late February from former owners Yrma Rico and Jerry Pajouh. The dealership is now known as BMW Fresno. Sudhir Sood, who formerly served as the general manager of BMW of Valencia in Southern California, is the new general manager at BMW of Fresno.
The dealership had operated under the Weber name for more than 40 years, both at its original location on Abby Street in downtown Fresno and, since 2001, at the Palm Bluff Corporate Center on Palm Avenue, north of Herndon Avenue. Rico and Pajouh, her son-in-law, bought the dealership from Ben Weber in 2000. Rico held the title of president, and Pajouh was the general manager of the business.
Rico said she and Monjazeb had been in talks about a possible sale for about 18 months, "but the holdup was, we were in the middle of a family feud" in which the minority owners did not want to sell the real estate. That feud landed in court when Pajouh sued his mother-in-law, Weber Motors Inc. and Palm Bluff Investments LLC in November 2010. Rico filed a countersuit in April 2012.
Mediation in the court case eventually led to a decision to sell the company -- lock, stock and barrel -- to a third party, "for everyone to make a clean break," Rico said Tuesday.