Larry H. Miller automotive group sold to Atlanta company for $3.2 billion

LHM will continue its “philanthropic efforts” and “diversify.”

Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune
The Larry H. Miller automotive group is being sold to an Atlanta company for $3.2 billion.

The Larry H. Miller Group of Cos., which built an empire selling cars and trucks, is getting out of the vehicle-selling business.

The LHM car dealerships are being sold to an Atlanta-based company for $3.2 billion.

The Asbury Automotive Group will acquire Miller’s 54 new-car dealerships, seven used-car dealerships and 11 collision centers in Utah, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho and Washington. It’s the eighth-largest dealership group in the United States.

The $3.2 billion sale price includes $740 million for real estate. The deal is expected to close later this year.

The sale will “elevate” the Larry H. Miller Group of Cos.’ “ability to continue to enrich lives through our philanthropic efforts,” said owner Gail Miller, “as well as reinvest in new ventures.”

Larry H. Miller Group of Cos. CEO Steve Starks said the sale will provide “additional opportunities for the LHM Group to further diversify and grow our portfolio of businesses and investments.” He did not specify what the company’s plans are.

Larry H. Miller, who died in 2009, bought his first dealership — a Toyota franchise in Murray — in 1979 and built a company that includes sports, entertainment, finance, insurance and health care, in addition to vehicles. He was best known as the owner of the NBA’s Utah Jazz. He bought 50% of the team in 1985 and purchased the other 50% in 1986 to prevent the team from moving to Minnesota. The Miller family sold the team to Ryan Smith in 2020.

“Since our family’s purchase of a single Utah dealership in 1979, we have been honored to cultivate a strong, values-based culture and customer-first business model within the automotive industry for more than four decades,” Gail Miller said. “We feel a great sense of stewardship to our incredible associates and their families, to our loyal customers and partners, and to the communities where we operate.”

According to Starks, automotive group employees “will have the opportunity to be part of Asbury, another well-respected and trusted brand, that brings a national footprint with a best-in-class technology platform.”

Asbury currently operates 91 dealerships.

“Larry H. Miller Dealerships is one of the most respected automotive dealer groups in the United States with a strong culture and stewardship mentality,” said Asbury President and CEO David Hult. “This acquisition is a unique opportunity to rapidly expand Asbury’s presence into these desirable, high-growth Western markets.”