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Koons Auto to be acquired by Asbury for $1.2B

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Koons Lexus of Wilmington Asbury

Koons Lexus of Wilmington is set to join the Asbury Automotive Group after a $1.2 billion sale of the regional auto group. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

WILMINGTON – Jim Koons Automotive Companies, the ninth largest privately-owned dealership group in the U.S. that also owns a Wilmington location, is set to be purchased by Asbury Automotive Group in a deal worth about $1.2 billion.

Founded in 1973 after Jim Koons took over the operation of his father’s dealership, Koons Ford in Falls Church, Va., the auto group has achieved steady growth over the decades. Today it employs more than 2,500 people in 20 locations, primarily in the Washington, D.C., Beltway region, where it has been the No. 1 retailer for more than 25 years. It includes relationships with Toyota, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Kia, Hyundai, Volvo, Stellantis and General Motors.

It owns a single Delaware dealership, Koons Lexus of Wilmington, located on Pennsylvania Avenue in the city, which represents its northernmost location. That dealership is currently undergoing a renovation.

“At Koons, it has always been all about people, and we deeply appreciate Asbury’s commitment to continuing this tradition. Our work with David Hult, and the Asbury team, gives us confidence that not only are our customers in excellent hands, but so are our employees, with opportunities for future growth being a part of Asbury,” said Jim Koons, chairman of Jim Koons Automotive Companies, in a statement.

The sale is one of the most sizable in auto retail history, representing over $3 billion in revenue in 2022 and includes 20 dealerships, 29 franchises, six collision centers and one of the highest volume Toyota and Stellantis dealerships in the U.S.

Publicly traded, Georgia-based Asbury is one of the largest U.S. automotive retail and service companies, operating 138 dealerships, representing 31 domestic and foreign brands, as well as 32 collision repair centers. 

In 2020, Asbury embarked on a five-year plan to increase revenue and profitability strategically through organic and acquisitive growth. In 2021, it acquired Larry H. Miller Dealerships, including 54 dealerships primarily in the West.

Asbury plans to finance the Koons acquisition with cash and credit. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023 or early in the first quarter of 2024, subject to customary closing conditions.

“This acquisition is transformative for our company, enabling Asbury to further expand into one of the country’s top economies in one of its fastest growing regions, with some of the U.S.’ best performing dealerships,” David Hult, Asbury’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “Koons has an impressive history of achievement in sales, CSI and revenue across its 20 dealerships, and is legendary for its emphasis on people – employees and community – and for giving back.

“These are values that we at Asbury share, along with the disciplined work ethic that has enabled Koons to achieve so much success. We are proud to continue what Jim Koons and his exceptional management team expanded upon: an unwavering dedication to excellence in automotive retailing. We expect the Koons dealerships’ profitability to be generally in line with the profitability of Asbury’s dealerships.”

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