CARY, N.C. –
Less than a month after announcing the purchase of four stores within the John Eagle Dealerships family, Lithia Motors said Tuesday it has bought the group’s six remaining stores.
The dealerships in the latest purchase are all in Houston, while the stores in the prior transaction were in Dallas and Austin, Texas.
“The John Eagle acquisitions improve Lithia’s density in the South-Central region and expands our network with a dominant presence in four of the top five largest metropolitan markets in the United States,” Lithia president and chief executive officer Bryan DeBoer said in a news release.
“The growth of our physical network expands our ability to provide consumers convenient and affordable new vehicle, used vehicle, service and parts solutions and brand impressions,” DeBoer said. “Together, with our Driveway digital home channel, we are providing personal transportation solutions wherever, whenever and however consumers desire.”
This continues a busy summer of acquisitions, both for Lithia and the dealership buy-sell market at large.
Over the course of July 7 to Aug. 4, Lithia Motors made four announcements regarding dealership purchases it made throughout California, Texas and Oregon. The latest in that stretch was the purchase of four John Eagle stores (John Eagle Honda of Dallas, Honda Cars of Rockwall, Howdy Honda of Austin and John Eagle Sports City Toyota) in the Dallas and Austin markets.
The second half of the year has also included the closing of Asbury Automotive Group’s purchase of certain assets of Park Place Dealerships.
The Presidio Group, an investment bank specializing in retail automotive and related M&A transactions, was the exclusive M&A advisor to Park Place in the Asbury deal. It also was the exclusive M&A advisor to John Eagle on the sale of the six Houston stores to Lithia and in the sale of the four Dallas and Austin stores to Lithia last month.
“We are pleased that Lithia acquired our Houston area stores,” group CEO John Eagle said in a news release. “We know Lithia will provide excellent support to the employees and customers. The Presidio Group’s professionalism and confidentiality allowed this complex transaction to be completed smoothly.”
John Eagle president and chief operating officer Rene Isip added: “It was an honor to work with Lithia on this transaction. The Houston market will be an excellent addition to its growing Texas footprint.”
The stores in the latest transaction include Honda Cars of Katy, Honda of Clear Lake, John Eagle Acura, John Eagle Honda Houston, Clearlake Infiniti and Southwest Infiniti.
The deal was Presidio’s fourth in Texas in the last two months.
“Working with John and Rene to structure this transaction was interesting given the size, brand concentration, and geographic breadth,” said Brodie Cobb, CEO of The Presidio Group, in a news release. “The business-friendly Texas market is super-hot right now.”
Presidio president George Karolis added: “Dealership profitability in Texas remains robust, making this an excellent time to invest in the Houston retail automotive market. Representing the John Eagle brand was an honor.”
For more on the dealership buy-sell market, including additional thoughts on Texas as a hot market, see Auto Remarketing’s feature with Cobb here.
In other dealership M&A news from the second half, it was also announced in July that actor/producer Mark Wahlberg and his business partner, Jay Feldman, had purchased two dealerships in Columbus, Ohio from the Haydocy family: Haydocy Buick GMC and Haydocy Airstream & RV, which have been renamed Mark Wahlberg Buick GMC and Mark Wahlberg Airstream & RV.
About a month later, the pair purchased another store in town (Jack Maxton Chevrolet), which is renamed Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet of Worthington.
And Tuesday also brought news from CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen LLP), which said it aided Miller Auto in its sale to Gilleland Enterprises