In 1979, Larry and Gail Miller bought a Toyota dealership in a Salt Lake City suburb that became the foundation of a business and philanthropic empire over the next 42 years.
During those decades, the Millers built one of the country's largest dealership groups, became billionaires, bought — and recently sold — an NBA team and donated millions of dollars to good causes.
Come December, that empire will be transformed when the Miller family sells its foundational dealership business to Asbury Automotive Group Inc.
Publicly traded Asbury said last week it would pay $3.2 billion to buy Larry H. Miller Dealerships and its 54 new-vehicle outlets, seven used-vehicle stores, 11 collision centers and finance-and-insurance company Total Care Auto. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter, pending automaker and other approvals.