Carvana stakeholder named richest person in Arizona | Auto Finance News | Auto Finance News

Carvana stakeholder named richest person in Arizona

Ernest Garcia II, founder of DriveTime Automotive, and largest shareholder of Carvana

Ernest Garcia II, the largest shareholder of Carvana and founder of DriveTime Automotive, was named the richest person in Arizona with a net worth of $5.6 billion, according to an annual Forbes ranking.

Garcia, through his wholly owned subsidiary Verde Investments, owns 89.3 million shares of Carvana’s class A and B common stock, giving him a voting percentage of 91%, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

At press time, Carvana’s stock was trading at $61 per share. The company has a market capitalization of $8.9 billion.

Garcia started his career as a real estate developer before venturing into the automotive industry. In 1990, he plead guilty to felony bank fraud associated with Irvine, Calif.-based Lincoln Savings and Loan Association and received three years’ probation in exchange for his testimony, Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index reports.

In the 1990s, Garcia bought rental car company Ugly Duckling, which went public in 1996. In 2002, the company returned to the private sector and was renamed DriveTime Automotive Group, which is now one of the nation’s largest used-car retailers. His son, Ernest Garcia III, joined DriveTime in 2007 and was named Carvana’s chief executive in 2012 when the company was founded and subsequently split from DriveTime Automotive. Carvana went public in 2017.

Other notable automotive executives made the list, too. Jim Kennedy, chairman of Cox Enterprises, was named the richest person in Georgia with a net worth of $9.2 billion. And Gail Miller of Utah was estimated to be worth $1.5 billion. Miller and her husband grew a single Toyota dealership into a 64-store chain with an estimated revenue of $5.1 billion. She is also the owner of the Utah Jazz, according to Forbes.

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