CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Sonic Automotive, Inc. (âSonic Automotiveâ or âSonicâ or the âCompanyâ) (NYSE: SAH), a Fortune 500 company and one of the nation’s largest automotive retailers, announced today have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire RFJ Auto Partners, Inc. (“RFJ Auto”). This acquisition represents one of the largest transactions in automotive retail history and is expected to propel Sonic Automotive into the top five of the largest dealer groups in the United States by total revenue.
With 33 locations in seven states and a portfolio of 16 auto brands, RFJ Auto generated $ 2.8 billion in annual revenue in 2020, making it one of the top 15 U.S. dealer groups in terms of total revenue. The transaction will add six additional states to Sonic’s geographic coverage and five additional brands to its portfolio, including the world’s largest Chrysler Jeep Dodge RAM dealership, Dave Smith Motors. In addition to further diversifying the business of Sonic’s franchise dealers, the transaction is expected to add $ 3.2 billion in annualized revenue, which represents a 30% incremental increase in franchise franchise revenue above the previously target. The company reported $ 25 billion in total revenue by 2025.
âWe are very pleased to welcome the RFJ Auto team to the Sonic family as we continue to expand our national network,â said David Smith, CEO of Sonic Automotive and EchoPark Automotive. âThe RFJ Auto management team – many of whom are former members of the Sonic family and are familiar with our customer-centric mindset and innovative sales model – and the nearly 1,700 RFJ Auto teammates perfectly match the culture and growth strategy of our franchise business. As such, we anticipate seamless integration and plan to seize meaningful synergies from âday oneâ, creating significant long-term value for our shareholders. ”
âThis transaction aligns well with our strategy to grow our franchise business by acquiring franchises that increase our geographic reach and expand our brand portfolio,â said Jeff Dyke, president of Sonic Automotive and EchoPark Automotive. âWith over 20 years of history with Rick Ford and much of his team, I very much respect and admire the tremendous work they have done to grow and modernize their business and see great synergies with the planned launch of our Industry-leading digital omnichannel. platform later this year. Beyond that, I look forward to working alongside Rick and his team once again as they remain in place to manage and accelerate our growth trajectory under this new partnership. ”
Rick Ford, CEO of RFJ Auto, commented, âAs a former member of the Sonic family, I know exactly how complementary our businesses are and look forward to bringing together our shared commitment to customer satisfaction, innovative processes and industry. cutting-edge technology for the benefit of all our guests, teammates and stakeholders. ”
Heath Byrd, CFO of Sonic Automotive and EchoPark Automotive, added: âOur focus on generating free cash flow and strengthening our balance sheet over the past few years has enabled us to pursue strategic acquisitions like this. ci while having the flexibility to allocate capital to our EchoPark rapid expansion plans, our dividend program and opportunistic share buybacks. After taking into account the expected financing of this transaction by debt and cash, our leverage ratio on the pro forma credit facility will remain comfortably within our objectives.
Sonic’s management team remains focused on executing the accelerated expansion plan for EchoPark’s national distribution network. Based on the success to date and plans for future markets, EchoPark is on track to achieve 25% population coverage by the end of 2021 and 90% population coverage by the end of 2021. 2025, bringing this unique and competitive offering to new markets to deliver value to customers. Additionally, as previously announced, Sonic’s Board of Directors continues to work with financial and legal advisors to review a full range of potential strategic alternatives for its EchoPark business. No timeline has been established for the completion of the review, and the review cannot result in any transaction. The Company does not intend to disclose any further developments regarding its review process unless and until its board of directors approves a specific action or otherwise completes the review.
RFJ Auto’s brand portfolio includes Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, RAM, Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, Lexus, Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Hyundai, Honda, Mazda, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and used vehicle locations specializing in the Pacific Northwest. , Midwest and Southwest.
The RFJ Auto transaction is expected to close in December 2021. Lazard acted as financial advisor and Parker Poe as legal advisor to Sonic. RFJ Auto is a holding company of The Jordan Company, Cowen acted as financial advisor and Greenberg Traurig acted as legal advisor.
About Sonic Automobile
Sonic Automotive, Inc., a Fortune 500 company based in Charlotte, North Carolina, is one of the nation’s largest and most innovative automotive retailers. Sonic continuously focuses on providing an industry-leading customer experience, through strategic investments in its technology and its teammates. Our 87 franchised dealerships are committed to providing a simple and transparent sales and service experience for customers, and to providing an environment for teammates to achieve their dreams, enrich life and bring happiness. You can find more information about Sonic Automotive at www.sonicautomotive.com and ir.sonicautomotive.com.
About EchoPark Automobile
EchoPark Automotive is a rapidly growing operating segment within the company that specializes in the sale of used vehicles, using a technology-driven sales strategy to deliver a unique, customer-centric shopping experience. and consistently deliver superior value to car buyers nationwide. No other used vehicle retailer offers its customers savings of up to $ 3,000 over the competition on more than 10,000 high-quality, near-new pre-owned vehicles. You can find more information about EchoPark Automotive at www.echopark.com.
About RFJ Auto
RFJ Auto Partners, Inc. was established in 2014 and is headquartered in Plano, Texas. It is one of the largest private auto retail platforms in the United States, with nearly 1,700 employees and a 33-roof dealer footprint located in 7 states in the Northwest, Midwest, and Southwest. southwest Pacific. It has developed a diversified product offering thanks to an efficient omnichannel platform. More information about RFJ Auto, including the locations of its dealers, can be found at www.rfjauto.com.
These contain forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the future contribution to the acquired business’s annualized revenues, future revenue increases and anticipated future revenue levels, anticipated dealer group rankings, anticipated future synergies, anticipated long-term returns to shareholders, anticipated future acquisitions strategy and business, the expected launch schedule of our omnichannel digital platform, future dividends and share buybacks, future leverage ratio levels of the the pro forma credit facility, the future coverage of the EchoPark population, and the expected completion and timing of the acquisition. Many factors influence management’s opinion of future events and trends in the Company’s business. These factors involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or trends to differ materially from the views of management, including, without limitation, economic conditions in the markets in which we operate, new and used vehicle industry sales volume, expected future revenue growth, the success of our operational strategies, the rate and timing of the overall economic expansion or contraction, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and government-imposed restrictions on operations, and risk factors described in the company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 and others reports and information filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the âSECâ). The Company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking information, except as required by federal securities laws and the rules and regulations of the SEC.