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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Buffett buys large U.S. auto dealership group to be based in Dallas

Noah Buhayar (c) 2014, Bloomberg News. NEW YORK — Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has agreed to buy Van Tuyl Group, the largest privately owned U.S. auto dealership group.

The business, with more than 100 franchises, will be renamed Berkshire Hathaway Automotive and continue to be run by Larry Van Tuyl, Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire said Thursday in a statement that didn’t disclose terms. The target company has more than $8 billion of revenue.

“I fully expect we’ll buy a lot more dealerships over time,” Buffett told CNBC in an interview. “We’ve gone a long time without getting into automobiles, but Larry’s got an operation that we think could be scaled up a lot from where it is.”

Buffett, 84, built Berkshire into the fifth-biggest company in the world by market value through stock picks and acquisitions. Its dozens of subsidiaries range from auto insurer Geico to ice-cream chain Dairy Queen.

While many of those units have retained their names after being acquired by Berkshire, some have recently taken on the parent company’s brand. The utility business changed to Berkshire Hathaway Energy this year, and Buffett’s company recently introduced the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand for its residential real estate franchise network.

Van Tuyl operates in states including Texas, Missouri, Arizona, Florida and California. The operation sells vehicles from automakers including Toyota, Ford and General Motors. In North Texas, Van Tuyl operates several North Texas dealerships in Arlington, Grapevine, Irving, Richardson and other areas. The company will be renamed Berkshire Hathaway Automotive and be based in Dallas.

The auto industry showed its health in September results, as the annualized U.S. sales rate, adjusted for seasonal trends, exceeded 16 million for the seventh straight month. SUV and crossover utility vehicle sales rose 17 percent in September, outpacing the industry’s 9.4 percent gain, according to researcher Autodata Corp.

The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year, according to the statement. Stephens Inc. was Van Tuyl’s banker and DLA Piper is providing legal advice to the dealership group. Munger, Tolles & Olson is Berkshire’s law firm on the deal.

This report includes material from the Associated Press

Area Van Tuyl Dealerships

GRAND PRAIRIE FORD 701 East Palace Parkway Grand Prairie 75050

GRAPEVINE FORD 801 E Highway 114 Grapevine 76051

GRAPEVINE LINCOLN 801 E Highway 114 Grapevine 76051

TEXAS NISSAN OF GRAPEVINE 1401 W. State Highway 114 Grapevine 76051

TEXAS SCION 701 Highway 114 East Grapevine 76051  

TEXAS TOYOTA 701 Highway 114 East Grapevine 76051

VANDERGRIFF ACURA 1100 I-20 West Arlington, TX 76017

VANDERGRIFF CHEVROLET 1200 W. I-20 Arlington, TX 76017

VANDERGRIFF HONDA 1104 W. I-20 Arlington, TX 76017

VANDERGRIFF HYUNDAI 1120 West I-20 Arlington76017

VANDERGRIFF SCION 1000 W. I-20 Arlington 76017

VANDERGRIFF TOYOTA 1000 W. I-20 Arlington,76017  

Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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