Asbury Automotive Group Completes Acquisition of Jim Koons Automotive Companies

12 December 2023

Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. one of the U.S.’ largest automotive retail and service companies, has completed the acquisition of Jim Koons Automotive Companies, the ninth largest privately-owned dealership group in the U.S. The sale includes 20 dealerships, 29 franchises, six collision centers and one of the highest volume Toyota dealerships in the US.

“With the completion of this milestone transaction, Asbury is proud to add one of the best run dealership groups in the industry and extend our footprint into the thriving Washington-Baltimore market, an economically robust and fast growing region of our country,” said David Hult, Asbury's President and Chief Executive Officer. “Jim Koons’ passion for the car business, as well as his enthusiastic leadership of his group, is evident at every level of the Koons organization. Not only are Koons’ twenty dealerships consistent leaders in sales volume and customer satisfaction, they are also renowned for their positive employee and workplace culture, essential values we share at Asbury. We welcome Koons employees to the Asbury family, and are grateful for their hard work and talent, and for the Asbury team, in the successful completion of this historic transaction.”

The acquisition will add approximately $3 billion in expected annualized revenues. Asbury anticipates the Koons’ dealership profitability to be generally in line with the profitability of Asbury’s dealerships. The purchase price of approximately $1.2 billion includes $740 million of goodwill, $420 million of real estate and leasehold improvements as well as vehicle inventory (net of floorplan), parts inventory and fixed assets of the dealerships. The acquisition was funded with borrowings under Asbury’s existing credit facility and cash on hand.

Founded in 1973, Jim Koons Automotive Companies was one of only 13 private groups with over $3 billion in revenue in 2022. The group, comprised of top volume franchises including Toyota, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Kia, Hyundai, Volvo, Stellantis and General Motors, is the dominant retailer in the thriving Washington-Baltimore market, the 4th largest combined statistical area in the U.S. by population per 2020 census data. Koons’ revenue per dealership ranked 10th overall in 2022 according to Automotive News, and 5th in the U.S. for groups with greater than $2 billion in revenue.

“We are so pleased to see the successful transition of our company to Asbury, knowing that being part of this sterling organization will provide tremendous career opportunities for our employees and a continuation of exceptional service to our customers and community. Koons’ rich 50 year history could not have been achieved without the contributions and support of our stellar employees,” said Jim Koons, Chairman of Jim Koons Automotive Companies. “Our transaction with Asbury was a large and complex one, and the excellent and dedicated teamwork demonstrated by both companies is a clear indicator of its future success. I would also like to extend a special thank you to the team at Kerrigan Advisors. Their transaction experience and expert knowledge of the buy/sell market was invaluable to me and my team. Kerrigan identified the ideal buyer for our group in Asbury and shepherded our organization through this historic sale from start to finish.”

Among its many accolades, Koons is the only dealership group in the region to be recognized multiple times by the Washington Post and Washington Business Journal as a top place to work. Recently, Koons paid $7 million in tenure bonuses to employees who had served the organization for greater than 10 years. With exceptional employee relations, Koons dealerships are well-regarded by automakers, consistently earning high customer satisfaction scores, as well as many OEM awards, including Toyota President’s Cabinets Award, Elite of Lexus, Ford’s President’s Award, Toyota’s Board of Governors, Ford’s Triple Crown Award, and Mercedes’ Best of the Best.

“Jim Koons has put his heart and soul into the car business for most of his life. His passion and commitment to excellence is evident in the incredible organization he built in the Jim Koons Automotive Companies. It was a real honor to represent him and his organization in this once-in-a-lifetime transaction,” said Erin Kerrigan, Founder and Managing Director of Kerrigan Advisors. “Congratulations to Jim Koons, his management team, and Asbury on a very successful transaction.”

Stephen Dietrich and Brooke Sizer of Holland & Knight served as legal counsel and Baker Tilly served as the transaction accounting firm to Koons. Jones Day and Hill Ward Henderson served as legal counsel and FORVIS served as the transaction advisory firm to Asbury.