Johnson’s RLJ Companies ranks high on BE 100s

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BETHESDA, MD—The RLJ Companies, founded by Robert L. Johnson recently announced five of its portfolio companies ranked high on the “2010 B.E. 100s List,” published annually by Black Enterprise magazine.

RLJ McLarty Landers Automotive Group ranked first in a category of 60 in this year’s auto dealership rankings. RLJ McLarty Landers was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Little Rock, Ark. The company consists of 35 automotive franchises and three Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealerships across the south central, southeast and midwest regions of the country.

Also included in top rankings is Urban Trust Bank, which is noted second this year in the bank sector ranking. Urban Trust Bank previously ranked 12th on last year’s BE 100s list and currently operates 26 branches across central Florida and the Washington, D.C. region, including three stand-alone branches and 23 branches within Wal-Mart stores.

RLJ Development, LLC and the Bobcats Sports & Entertainment are ranked 8th and 36th, respectively out of 100 in the industrial/services rankings. RLJ Development, LLC, is a privately-held real estate investment company that primarily owns upscale select service and compact full service hotels in major markets in North America. RLJ Development, LLC currently owns 119 hotels with more than 17,000 guestrooms.

The NBA Charlotte Bobcats debuted in 2004 as part of the Southeast Division of the NBA’s Eastern Conference. On March 17, Bob Johnson sold majority ownership to Michael Jordan and MJ Basketball Holdings, LLC. Johnson retains a minority ownership interest and serves as the Bobcats’ governor to the NBA.

Making its debut on this year’s list, RLJ Equity Partners, LLC, ranks 10th out of 15 on the private equity firms list. RLJ Equity Partners was founded in partnership with The Carlyle Group and specializes in middle-market leveraged buyouts, leveraged recapitalizations and growth equity. As of April 2010, RLJ Equity Partners has invested in three companies.

(The RLJ Companies, founded by Robert L. Johnson, is an innovative business network that provides strategic investments in a diverse portfolio of companies. The RLJ Companies seeks to target undiscovered or underserved markets then exercise solid management to achieve results.)

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