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Lithia buys Nevada dealerships

Lithia Motors Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire Dick Donnelly Automotive,a dealer of Isuzu, Lincoln/Mercury, Suzuki and Audi brands in Reno and Sparks,Nev.

Lithia will pay about $12.8 million in cash and notes, depending on theinventory at the time of closing, anticipated in the fourth quarter. Thedealerships had combined sales of $78 million in 1996.

These are Lithia's ninth and 10th acquisitions since the company wentpublic in November, but the first for Lithia in Nevada. The Medford-basedcompany has seven locations in California and six in Oregon.

The growing Reno market fits perfectly with our disciplined acquisitionstrategy, said Sid DeBoer, Lithia chairman.