In July 2021, when retail giant Lithia Motors was on the cusp of entering Canada, its first international market, CEO Bryan DeBoer pointed to the United Kingdom and Australia as additional possibilities for expansion but with a caveat: Those markets were probably two to five years out.
"So nothing urgent," DeBoer told analysts at that time.
But Lithia's chief appears to have sped up his interest.
A Sky News report this month named Lithia as the unidentified bidder in a failed deal to buy Pendragon, one of the largest auto retailers in the U.K. Pendragon, in an Aug. 5 regulatory filing, said a "large international corporate" presented "a board-approved non-binding offer" for the dealership group that was later withdrawn. The bid was valued at $558.35 million, according to a Reuters report.