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Republic Industries Acquires Auto Dealerships In Southern California, Las Vegas, Phoenix And Ohio

Aug. 14, 1998

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Aug. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Republic Industries, Inc. (NYSE: RII) today announced that it has signed definitive agreements to acquire six franchised automotive dealership groups in a series of separate transactions that will contribute approximately $650 million of annualized revenue to Republic's operations. The purchase prices, which were not disclosed, will be paid primarily in cash. Each transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including manufacturer and government approval.

The dealerships to be acquired include House of Imports, Corona and Beach City Chevrolet, and Don-A-Vee Jeep-Eagle, all located in Southern California; Willden's Pride Dodge of Las Vegas, Nevada; the Pitre Automotive Group of Phoenix, Arizona, and Eastgate Ford of Dayton, Ohio.

House of Imports of Buena Park, California, is the largest volume Mercedes Benz dealer in the United States and Republic's second Mercedes dealership in Southern California; the first was South Bay Autohaus. Ray Beschof, General Manager of House of Imports, will remain in that position after the closing.

Corona Chevrolet is located in Corona, California, and Beach City Chevrolet is in Long Beach, California. The Corona acquisition is Republic's first in the rapidly growing "Inland Empire" area and is located very close to the site of an AutoNation USA megastore that Republic will open in Rancho Cucamonga later this year. Les Saul, the dealer operator of the Corona dealership, and Bill Saul, the dealer operator of the Beach City dealership, will remain with Republic following the closing.

Don-A-Vee Jeep-Eagle operates dealerships in Bellflower and in Placentia, California. Don-A-Vee Jeep-Eagle has been the largest volume Jeep dealer in California for the last 11 years. As part of the transaction, Clive Skilton, owner of the dealerships, will sign a long-term employment agreement with Republic.

The three California dealerships complement Republic's existing operations in the greater Los Angeles area, which include the Southern California Automotive Group, the Lew Webb Automotive Group, Champion Chevrolet, Magic Ford/Lincoln-Mercury, the Peyton Cramer Automotive Group, and the AutoNation USA used car megastore in Irvine. Republic also plans to open an additional four AutoNation USA megastores in Southern California by the end of this year.

In Phoenix, Republic is acquiring the Pitre Automotive Group, which includes the Chrysler-Plymouth, Jeep-Eagle, Buick, Pontiac, GMC Truck, Isuzu, Hyundai, Kia and Subaru brands. The transaction complements Republic's existing operations in the Phoenix area, which include Brown & Brown Chevrolet/Nissan, Lou Grubb Chevrolet-Ford-Dodge, Tempe Toyota, and an AutoNation USA megastore in Chandler. Hubert Pitre, the dealer owner, will remain with the dealerships following the closing. In addition, each of the existing General Managers has an ownership position in his dealership and will remain with Republic following the closing.

In Las Vegas, Republic is acquiring Willden's Pride Dodge, the second largest volume Dodge dealership in the state. The transaction adds to Republic's existing operations in the Las Vegas area, which also include the Desert Automotive Group and an AutoNation USA megastore in Henderson, Nevada.

In Dayton, Ohio, Republic is acquiring Eastgate Ford. The acquisition will be Republic's first in the Dayton market. Nearby, Republic also operates an AutoNation USA megastore in Beaver Creek, Ohio, and owns Bob Townsend Ford in Cincinnati. As part of the transaction, Milo Noble, the dealership's General Manager, will sign a long-term employment agreement with Republic.

Commenting on the acquisitions, Steven R. Berrard, President and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Republic Industries, said, "We are very pleased to be further strengthening our districts in Southern California, Phoenix and Las Vegas. We are also excited to begin operations in the Dayton market. We are actively pursuing other automotive retail acquisition candidates and we expect to be making additional announcements of acquisitions in the near future."

Republic Industries, Inc. operates subsidiaries in the automotive retailing, automotive rental, and solid waste services industries. The Company owns the nation's largest group of franchised dealerships and operates the rapidly expanding chain of AutoNation USA used car megastores. Republic also owns National Car Rental System, Inc., Alamo Rent-A-Car, Inc. and CarTemps USA.

SOURCE Republic Industries, Inc.
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