SALT LAKE CITY — Larry H. Miller Dealerships, the eighth largest dealer group in the U.S., have been sold as part of a $3.2 billion deal to the Atlanta-based Asbury Automotive Group Inc., the company announced Wednesday.
The Miller family owned the Utah Jazz for 35 years before they sold the team for an estimated $1.66 billion. Now, they’re selling all of their car dealerships.
The deal for the Miller dealerships, which also includes a company called Total Care Auto, powered by Landcar, was valued at $3.2 billion.
“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 David Hult, Asbury's President and Chief Executive Officer. “This acquisition is a unique opportunity to rapidly expand Asbury’s presence into these desirable, high-growth Western markets with strong accretion from day-one, with this impressive group and its rich history. Larry H. Miller Dealerships is a well-run operation with long tenured employees and a senior leadership team equaling over 5,300 passionate team members, all of whom have had a part in building and carrying forward the legacy that Larry H. and Gail Miller founded over 42 years ago."
“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,” said Gail Miller, Owner, Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. “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. As always, we believe that being in business is a means to doing good, and this transaction will elevate our ability to continue to enrich lives through our philanthropic efforts as well as reinvest in new ventures.”
The Larry H. Miller company also includes 17 movie theaters and, of course, the Millers were the former owners of the Utah Jazz.
“The Miller Family is an extraordinary family because Larry and Gail built it from the ground up,” said former University of Utah Vice President Frank Esplin.
“What they’ve done economically for our local community here and also what they did even with buying the Jazz in a permanent way and the risk that Larry took to make that happen,” University of Utah Eccles School of Business’ Carolyn Buma said.
Besides the massive economic impact to the state, the Miller family has also donated generously to Utah.
“The Miller Legacy goes far more than what they give in dollars because they are far more than just writing checks. They care deeply about this community,” Buma said.
The family’s foundations have provided substantial donations to healthcare, homeless and educational organizations.
They’ve also given 4,500 students college scholarships.
The most recent tax records show, the family foundation gave nearly $4 million dollars in chartable donations in 2019.
On Wednesday, Gail Miller said selling off the car dealerships will allow the family’s numerous foundations to continue with philanthropic work.
“They are clearly one of the most successful business families in the state but they have not only done well, but they have done good and they’ve given back,” said Esplin.
The total sale included 54 new vehicle dealerships, seven used vehicle dealerships and 11 collision centers. Larry H. Miller sells more than 115,000 new and used vehicles every year, according to MarketWatch.