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Thursday February 14

Penske Buys European Dealership Sytner Group

DETROIT -- Roger Penske's Detroit-based UnitedAuto Group Inc. intends to acquire the Sytner Group, a chain of about 48 dealerships based in Leicester, England, a leading luxury car retailer in the United Kingdom. UnitedAuto Group has agreed to pay $135 million in cash and assume $20 million in debt as terms for the purchase.

Founded by retired British racing champion Frank Sytner, the publicly traded company has annual sales of about $850 million.

UnitedAuto Group -- the third-largest dealership chain in the United States behind No. 1 AutoNation Inc. and No. 2 Sonic Automotic Inc. -- expects to close the deal by the end of the first quarter.

Penske's company earned $44.7 million last year on revenue of $6.2 billion. Last year, the company sold 210,000 new and used cars and trucks in 19 states and Puerto Rico and Brazil.

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