Unveiling of Bentley Bentayga Stetson during the Park Place Luxury & Supercar Showcase in Irving, Texas, on Sept. 28, 2019. (Michael Ainsworth)

Automotive

The On-Again, Off-Again Sale of Park Place Dealerships is Back On

Restructured agreement has owner Ken Schnitzer selling some dealerships to Asbury Automotive, retaining others.

Park Place Dealership founder and chair Ken Schnitzer announced today that he has entered into a definitive agreement to sell certain assets of one of the country’s largest privately-owned luxury dealer groups to Asbury Automotive Group.

Asbury will pay $685 million for eight dealerships, including Mercedes-Benz and Sprinter stores in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington, Lexus Plano and Lexus Grapevine, Jaguar Land Rover DFW, Porsche Dallas, and Volvo Dallas. Park Place BodyWerks in Dallas and Fort Worth, and Park Place Auto Auction. The Park Place brand also is also included in the sale. As part of the deal, Asbury also will pay $50 million for parts, fixed assets, and leaseholds, excluding vehicle inventory.

Schnitzer will retain ownership of Mercedes-Benz Grapevine, Sprinter and Porsche Grapevine, Bentley Dallas, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Dallas, McLaren Dallas, Maserati Dallas, Koenigsegg, and Aston Martin Dallas—which Park Place purchased in May—in addition to the body shop in Grapevine and the Select subscription service.

The sale is expected to be finalized by August 31.

Schnitzer initially agreed to sell the company for $1 billion last December, but Asbury terminated the agreement in March as COVID-19 shut down automotive operations across the world. The announcement in a regulatory filing came after Asbury Automotive Group sold all five of its Mississippi dealerships. Terminating the Park Place deal would have cost the company about $30 million in fees and expenses, according to its regulatory filing.

“In the last four months, our team has worked hard to overcome numerous challenges,” said Schnitzer. “We were able to adapt and serve our clients at the highest level, even in the most difficult circumstances. As the market continues to rebound, Asbury Automotive re-engaged with an offer to purchase Park Place. As I said last December, when we first announced the sale of Park Place, it is time for me to take a step back and enjoy my family and friends.”

Schnitzer founded Park Place Dealerships in 1987 with a single Mercedes-Benz dealership on Oak Lawn Avenue.

Park Place Dealerships employs more than 2,100 members and operates 18 full-service dealerships representing luxury brands Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Koenigsegg, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, McLaren, and Maserati.

“Park Place is highly regarded as one of the best and most efficient operators of luxury stores in the industry,”  said David Hult, Asbury’s president and CEO.  “Their portfolio of stores comes with a strong base of loyal clients and long-tenured team members throughout the high growth Dallas/Fort Worth market.  This acquisition will enhance our total portfolio and add approximately $1.7 billion in expected annualized revenues.”

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