McLarty Automotive Group has acquired all but two stores owned and operated by Joe Machens Dealerships of Missouri.
The Machens group operates 10 rooftops selling 16 brands, mostly in the Columbia, Mo., area, according to a spokeswoman.
Under terms of the deal, the Machens dealerships will continue to operate under the Joe Machens brand name, according to a statement released by Gary Drewing, president of Joe Machens Dealerships, and the Drewing family.
The deal is the latest in a wave of dealership acquisitions as rising U.S. new-vehicle sales and dealership values prompt owners to sell.
The Drewings own Joe Machens Dealerships, which ranks No. 82 on the Automotive News list of the top 150 U.S.-based dealership groups. The company had 11,412 new-vehicle retail sales in 2014.
“It’s a great organization that has tremendous longevity with a lot of employees who’ve been there 20 to 30 years,” Mark McLarty, chairman of McLarty Automotive Group in Little Rock, Ark., said in an interview with Automotive News.
Mark McLarty declined to discuss details of the deal but said Machens employees will keep their jobs and that he wants a “continuity” of culture.
“Our family’s been in the business since the 1920s, and we’re committed to that type of family store and continuity,” McLarty said.
The Drewing family will continue to own and operate Joe Machens BMW and Joe Machens Mercedes-Benz. The stores’ names will change to BMW of Columbia and Mercedes-Benz of Columbia.
McLarty has three international holdings. He is still a shareholder and partner in Yanjun Auto Group. He owns Caltabiano McLarty Group, a 20-dealership group in Brazil; and GDV Imports Mexico, a Jaguar and Land Rover vehicle distributor in Mexico.
The McLarty group entered Brazil in 2000, China in 2006 and Mexico in 2010.
McLarty Automotive is led by industry veterans that include CEO Charles Oglesby, the onetime CEO of Asbury Automotive Group in Duluth, Ga.
The company’s management also includes Paul Hart, the former CFO of Asbury's mid-southern region, and Michael Holland, the CFO of McLarty Automotive Group and former CFO of Mark McLarty’s Brazilian dealerships.
“We are delighted that the 46-year-old Joe Machens heritage, as well as its commitment to exceptional customer service, will continue under the proven leadership of McLarty Automotive Group,” Gary Drewing said in the statement. “And that our valued employees will remain core to the team within the dealerships.”