Duhon said he worked with Ford on the acquisition through an automaker program that helps minority candidates become owners. Ford funded most of the transaction via a loan to Legeaux, Duhon said. Premier acquired a 49 percent stake in the store, while Legeaux’s ownership stake is 51 percent, Duhon said.

For the Virginia dealerships, Duhon said he is the majority owner, with Tim Barnett as a minority partner. Premier did not disclose ownership percentages for those dealerships.

That sale transpired when Barnett, a dealer formerly operating in Atlanta, met Wendell Barnette, who owned the Virginia stores.

After Barnette’s grandson, the intended heir to the dealerships, died, Barnette said he wanted to sell. A mutual friend connected Duhon and Barnett.

“We were looking to get out of the rat race of the big metro and go to a smaller community where we could, you know, have more of an impact, helping people in the community that need help, which is what Troy is known for doing,” Barnett told Automotive News.

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