Image: Carriage TradePR

America’s largest automotive retailer, AutoNation Inc., is growing once again after it signed an agreement to acquire 11 stores and a collision center from Peacock Automotive Group based in Hardeeville, South Carolina.

The purchase will provide AutoNation new locations in the Hilton Head and Columbia regions of South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. Peacock Automotive is owned by Warner Peacock and has a notable investor in baseball legend Ken Griffey Jr. 

AutoNation has not released the price of the transaction, but the deal is expected to close in the summer following necessary approvals. The 11 rooftops are estimated to add $380 million to AutoNation’s annual revenues.

Peacock is made up of a wide variety of domestic, import, and luxury brands. The 11 locations include the brands Hyundai, Genesis, Jaguar, Land Rover, Audi, Porsche, Subaru, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Volkswagen.

According to Automotive News, Peacock and AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson have talked about a deal since November 2020. The two sides agreed on an undisclosed contract in February and hope to close the deal by June 1.

The acquisition marks AutoNation’s first purchase of a franchised dealership since 2018 when the retailer purchased a BMW store in California. Mike Jackson hinted at the company’s plans to expand during AutoNation’s fourth-quarter earnings report when he said he expected the retailer to have some new vehicle franchise acquisitions in 2021.

“I picked AutoNation because I know the kind of guy Mike Jackson is,” said Peacock, adding that he had been informed that the retailer planned to retain all of his employees. Instead of retiring, Peacock plans to retain a Ford store in Maitland, Florida, and look for opportunities to expand into Central Florida according to Stephens Inc., the group that represented Peacock in the AutoNation transaction.

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