Spending is estimated to advance another 7.1% in 2018 and will expand to $1.7 trillion total by 2022.
PHOENIX, Ariz. — Misgana Kebede, owner and operator of Accent Transportation in Phoenix, recently sold his business to Billy Jinks of JET Limousines so he could return to his native Ethiopia to start new business ventures.
The deal closed on Sept. 7 between the two friendly competitors and local affiliates. The companies, which eventually will operate under the name of Accent Transportation, run 23 chauffeured vehicles.
For Kebede, the sale enables him and his wife and two young children to move to Addis Ababa, the capital of the east African nation of Ethiopia, from which Kebede emigrated in 1999. A February 2012 profile in LCT Magazine details Kebede’s success as an immigrant entrepreneur in the U.S., who cut his teeth working at Walt Disney World, Starwood Hotels and Honeywell International before starting Accent Transportation in 2008. Kebede adopted the latest cutting edge technologies and gadgets for his fleet.
After he returns to Addis Ababa later this month, Kebede will open up a gelato store and bakery and begin development of an extended-stay hotel with his wife, Bilen, who specializes in information technology.
“I’ve been in the U.S. for 15 years, and Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa,” Kebede told LCT. “I just want to get back and be part of the action. My wife will continue to work on the technology side of things.”
The 23 vehicle-fleet includes one Lincoln Town Car Executive L sedan, 2014 Cadillac XTS sedans, Mercedes-Benz S550 sedans, two Cadillac Escalades, one Lincoln Navigator L, a Chevrolet Van Express, an 11-passenger Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van, a Krystal Lincoln Town Car stretch limousine, a Chrysler 300 stretch limousine, a Dodge Charger stretch limousine, a Hummer H2 stretch, two 22-passenger Krystal mini-buses, two Grech Motors 38-passenger GM-40 buses, and a DaVinci Coachworks-modified Temsa TS-35 limo bus with perimeter seating.
Jinks plans to buy two motorcoaches next month in anticipation of Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, 2015 in Glendale, Ariz.
The combined companies have five office staff members, two vehicle detailers and about 25-30 chauffeurs. JET and Accent will operate under separate names and websites during a transition period until JET will become a division of Accent, Jinks said. “Accent been very strong in advertising and with its website, so it will be the dominant name.”
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