“This is a transformative event for LMP as we are officially a part of the elite public franchise dealership group,” LMP COO Richard Aldahan said in a statement.
LMP’s stock closed up nearly 10 percent to $17.89 on Friday before the announcement and was up 3 percent in after-hours trading.
LMP joins a small list of six publicly traded franchised auto retailers. Asbury Automotive Group Inc. was the last to go public in 2002.
There are other publicly traded companies with franchised dealership holdings such as conglomerate Graham Holdings Co., which has three stores through a partnership with Chris Ourisman, president of Ourisman Automotive Group. And Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway public conglomerate includes Berkshire Hathaway Automotive Inc., which has 81 dealerships.
Aldahan said LMP’s remaining acquisitions in its first stage will close on a rolling basis “in the coming weeks.”
The company has hit some bumps over the past few months. The retailer was to buy a majority stake in a Toyota store in Newnan, Ga., and eight Atlantic Automotive Group dealerships in New York, which it had halved in size citing manufacturer “geographic concentration issues.”
LMP, which did not immediately disclose purchase prices for the dealerships, previously said the Kia stores would cost $36 million, plus $33 million in real estate.
Ryan Kerrigan, managing director of Kerrigan Advisors, a sell-side firm in Irvine, Calif., represented Fuccillo in the transaction.
“Florida is a red hot market,” Kerrigan said, adding his firm has represented sellers in the sale of eight Florida dealerships in the past year.
Tim Lamb Group brokered the transaction of the West Virginia stores.