Rogers-based America’s Car-Mart Inc. announced Monday (Dec. 5) acquiring the dealership assets of Credit-Line Inc. and Loanco Inc., both Texas corporations doing business as Taylor Auto Credit. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
According to a news release, the deal is expected to close before Dec. 31, and the existing finance receivables will be excluded from the transaction and will be collected by the seller. Taylor Auto Credit has been operating since 1990 and is owned by Keith and Marcia Hagler.
As a result of the deal, Car-Mart will enter a new market in Taylor, Texas. Taylor is a city of more than 16,000 people northeast of Austin.
“As previously communicated, we expect acquisitions to continue to generate outstanding returns for our shareholders, an exit strategy for owner-operators and future growth opportunities for their associates,” CEO Jeff Williams said. “In our markets, the best competitors have generally been a subset of the owner-operated dealerships – those operated by individuals who have chosen not to borrow excessively, focus on getting a sound automobile to their customers on reasonable terms, and provide both friendly service and disciplined collections. We believe we have developed a successful acquisition template which works for both parties.”
In October, Car-Mart announced creating a new role to lead the company’s acquisitions and named former dealership owner Steve Taylor to the position of director of acquisitions. Taylor joined Car-Mart when it acquired his dealerships in March 2020. The Taylor Motors deal was announced in December 2019 and comprised the first dealership group Car-Mart purchased. As of Oct. 31, Car-Mart had 154 dealerships in 12 states, up two dealerships from last year.
In Car-Mart’s second-quarter earnings report on Nov. 16, Williams noted several ongoing initiatives including speaking to other companies about acquiring their businesses.
“We are excited to be adding the Taylor, Texas, area to our footprint and expanding our customer base in a thriving and growing market,” Williams said. “Samsung is currently building a $17 billion semiconductor plant near Taylor, expected to bring 1,800 jobs in the area. Taylor Auto Credit brings a rich history of serving customers with a talented team of associates that we welcome into the Car-Mart family. We are excited for the opportunities to grow our business in this market.”
Williams added that the values of Taylor Auto Credit and the Haglers “align perfectly with ours” and looked forward to getting to know their customers.
“Taylor Auto Credit has called Taylor, Texas, home for over 30 years,” said Keith Hagler. “With that being said, we are elated to announce America’s Car-Mart’s acquisition of Taylor Auto Credit. This acquisition is exciting news for Taylor, Texas, and all surrounding areas. Our goal at Taylor Auto Credit has always been to keep our customers on the road, while providing the best customer experience from day one. America’s Car-Mart will continue to do just that. My wife, Marcia, and I are thankful that we have the opportunity to join one of the largest publicly held automotive retailers in the United States in our industry. After 30 years, seeing the end of Taylor Auto Credit is sad, but giving our team a future is the main priority. America’s Car-Mart is superior and will provide a better future for all associates and future customers.”
The news release also shows that the previously announced acquisition of Smart Auto Inc. is expected to be completed by the of the year. The acquisition of Smart Auto in Knoxville, Tenn., is expected to close at the end of December. The deal also included a location in Johnson City, Tenn. In February, Car-Mart announced the completion of the Johnson City store acquisition.
Shares of Car-Mart (NASDAQ: CRMT) were trading Monday at $73.40, down, $1.19 or 1.6%. In the past 52 weeks, the stock has ranged between $52.24 and $127.05.