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The Globe and Mail

AutoCanada gears up with deal for eight new stores

Pat Priestner, CEO of AutoCanada, at one of his dealerships in Edmonton, Alberta, on May 02, 2012.

Ian Jackson/The Globe and Mail

Auto dealership group AutoCanada Inc. has signed deals to purchase eight new stores that generated $422-million in revenue last year.

The new dealerships include a dealership group and other stores unrelated to the group, the Edmonton-based company said in a statement Tuesday.

AutoCanada, the country's largest publicly traded auto dealership group, said the agreements are expected to close within 90 days but depend on approval from auto manufacturers. Approvals are expected, but not assured, the company said.

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The purchases will be financed through debt or issuing equity or a combination of the two.

"In addition to these eight dealerships, we continue to pursue additional opportunities which are in various stages of progress," AutoCanada chief executive officer Pat Priestner said.

The company now operates 34 dealerships in seven provinces that sold about 36,000 vehicles last year.

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