McLarty Automotive Group Acquires Asbury's Mississippi Holdings

McLarty Automotive Group Acquires Asbury's Mississippi Holdings
Mark McLarty, McLarty Automotive's founder and chairman. (Karen E. Segrave)

McLarty Automotive Group of Little Rock said Monday that it had completed its acquisition of publicly traded Asbury Automotive Group's holdings in Mississippi, with the purchase of Gray-Daniels Auto Family. 

McLarty said Gray-Daniels is the largest dealership group in the state, with about $400 million in annual revenue. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Like McLarty Automotive Group, Gray-Daniels Auto Family is deeply rooted in the communities it serves," Mark McLarty, McLarty Automotive's founder and chairman, said in a news release. "We are excited about the opportunity to build on its more than 30-year history and grow our presence in America’s Heartland."

The Gray-Daniels Auto Family operates one collision center and five dealerships. McLarty expects the acquisition to rank it among the top 25 automotive dealers in the U.S. with nearly $1.7 billion in annual revenue. 

McLarty Automotive is the seventh-largest private company Arkansas, according to Arkansas Business' most recent list of the state's 75 largest private firms. The company reported 2018 revenue of $1.4 billion. It had 2,286 employees, including 768 in Arkansas.

"I've long admired and respected the McLarty family's commitment to their team members and customers," David W. Hult, president and CEO of Asbury Automotive of Atlanta, said. "This transaction aligns well with Asbury's store portfolio goals and McLarty Automotive Group’s continued expansion in the region."

Founded in Arkansas in 2014, McLarty Automotive made its first acquisition that same year, purchasing Bale Honda in Little Rock and renaming it McLarty Honda. In 2015, it acquired Frank Fletcher Honda, now Columbia Honda; the Joe Machens dealership group in Columbia and Jefferson City, Mo.; and four Arkansas dealerships from Asbury Automotive, which have since been renamed McLarty Mazda, McLarty Nissan of Little Rock, McLarty Nissan of North Little Rock and McLarty Volkswagen. 

In 2016, MAG purchased the remaining Asbury holdings in Arkansas that are now BMW of Little Rock, McLarty Volvo Cars of Little Rock, Mark McLarty Ford Lincoln, Mark McLarty Toyota, McLarty Collision North and McLarty Collision West. It opened a McLarty Nissan dealership in Benton, Arkansas, in 2017.

The McLarty Automotive Group owns and operates 23 dealerships across the Mid-South and Midwest, representing BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Jeep, Lincoln, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Ram, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.

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