A brand-new game: Hank Aaron sells all but one of his auto dealerships but expands food franchise.

Author:Sykes, Tanisha A.
Position:B.E. 100s - Hank L. Aaaron Sr. of Hank Aaron Automotive Group

After seven years in business, Hank L. Aaron Sr., CEO of the Hank Aaron Automotive Group (No. 15 on the BE AUTO DEALERS 100 list with $136.7 million in sales), is getting out of the car dealership game.

Recently, Aaron sold four of his five dealerships, including BMW and Mini Cooper in Union City, Georgia, and Honda and Hyundai in Griffin, Georgia, to the Sons Automotive Group, a fourth-generation auto dealer in Atlanta. "He is trying to simplify some of his business life," said Allan Tanenbaum, Aaron's long-time business adviser, in a previous interview. "While he never views himself as retiring, he wants to enjoy the good graces that God has given him."

Aaron, known as a hands-on boss, retains the lone dealership, Toyota in McDonough, Georgia. However, sources say he will probably divest of that dealership in the near future. In addition, he recently sold the Jaguar and Land Rover outlets in Augusta.

Even so, Aaron intends to keep, and possibly expand, a network of 14 fast-food franchises, which are housed under 755 Restaurant Corp. They include Church's, Popeye's, and Krispy Kreme restaurants, worth some $19 million in sales in 2006. "We are growing; we have no plans to sell," explains Victor Haydel, the president of 755 Restaurant Corp. and...

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