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Parker group closing LR Mini dealership

The Mini of Little Rock dealership in west Little Rock, which opened in 2014 under the Parker Automotive Group umbrella, was scheduled to close for good New Year's Eve.

Dave and Rick Parker, who also operate dealerships under the Audi, Lexus and Cadillac marquees, made the announcement in a letter to customers who own or lease Minis, a line of stylish British small cars.

"Five years ago MINI USA shared with us their plans for sales, product, and other important items for the MINI brand over the next few years," they said in the letter Monday. "Clearly these things would have made a MINI franchise in Little Rock a viable business model, but none of those came true, in fact, quite the opposite happened.

"Therefore, we have no choice but to terminate our MINI franchise as of December 31, 2018."

The closing of the dealership comes a month after BMW of North America confirmed to Automotive News it was considering letting Mini dealers move their operations into their BMW stores. The Mini brand has been owned by BMW since 2000, but not every Mini dealer is a BMW dealer, which is the case in Little Rock.

Sales of Mini peaked at about 66,500 in 2013 in the United States, Automotive News said. Through the first 10 months of this year, sales totaled 37,359.

-- Noel Oman

Windstream sells EarthLink Net unit

Windstream has sold its EarthLink consumer Internet business, the Little Rock telecommunications company said Monday.

Windstream acquired the business in its purchase of EarthLink in 2017.

Trive Capital, a Dallas-based private-equity firm, purchased the business for $330 million in cash.

The EarthLink consumer Internet business offers Internet access, online backup, managed Web design, Web hosting and various email services to more than 600,000 customers throughout the United States.

"This transaction enables us to divest a non-core segment and focus exclusively on our two largest business units," said Tony Thomas, chief executive officer of Windstream. "In addition, it improves our credit profile."

Trive Capital manages over $2 billion in capital.

-- David Smith

Arkansas Index rises 3.35, ends at 368.57

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, rose 3.35 to 368.57 Monday.

"While the three major stock market averages finished lower for 2018, U.S. stocks rallied on the last day of the year over optimism circling around trade talks between the U.S. and China, two of the world's largest economies," said Chris Harkins, managing director with Raymond James & Associates in Little Rock.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Business on 01/01/2019

Print Headline: Windstream sells EarthLink Net unit Arkansas Index rises 3.35, ends at 368.57 Parker group closing LR Mini dealership

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