Asbury Automotive Group is negotiating to buy the Texas-based, 14-dealership David McDavid Auto Group, according to published reports.
If completed, it would be the third major purchase this year for the Conshohocken, Pa.-based automotive group. Asbury was formed in January 1995 to buy dealerships and is headed by former Subaru of America Inc. President Tom Gibson.
McDavid Auto Group President David McDavid declined to comment on the deal.
Gibson neither confirmed nor denied that Asbury is negotiating with the McDavid group. He did say that he has known McDavid for 10 years and that he has talked with the McDavid group as he has talked with other dealers.
McDavid's son, Jimmy McDavid, operations manager of the McDavid organization, said the group has been approached by chains including Republic Industries Inc.
'We've talked to everybody; nothing's been done,' he said. 'A deal may not happen; we'll know soon enough.'
According to the Dallas Business Journal, the purchase price is $380 million.
David McDavid Auto Group ranked No. 26 on the 1996 Automotive News list of top 100 dealers in the United States based on 15,200 retail sales. In 1996 the McDavid Group also sold 6,560 used units; 4,565 fleet units and had revenues of $512.2 million. The McDavid Group has 17 franchises that include Pontiac, GMC, Buick, Suzuki, Honda, Acura, Saturn, Nissan, Oldsmobile and Kia.
In March, Asbury announced the purchase of Plaza Motors Inc., a luxury auto mall in suburban St. Louis for an undisclosed price. Plaza handles Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Infiniti, Cadillac, Porsche, Audi and Land Rover.
In February, the group completed the purchase of Nalley Co. of Atlanta. Nalley includes Lexus, Acura, Chevrolet, Honda, Kia, Jeep and Eagle franchises. It also holds Peterbilt, Navistar, Hino and Isuzu truck franchises.
Asbury bought the former Roswell Jeep-Eagle, now known as Nalley Jeep-Eagle, in November 1996. The Roswell, Ga., store is one of the country's highest-volume Jeep-Eagle dealerships.
David McDavid, a dealer for 35 years and an avid sports fan, last year became one of the owners of the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team.