AKRON — A number of key mergers and acquistions throughout 2019 are reshaping the competitive landscape in multiple layers of the tire industry, according to Tire Business' assessment of the markets.
Monro Inc. and Bridgestone Americas/GCR Tires were the key players last year in the retail and commercial sectors, respectively, but from opposite ends of the spectrum, with Monro a key buyer and Bridgestone a net seller.
Monro added 102 retail locations throughout the country in a dozen separate deals, spending $100-plus million to acquire businesses with over $120 million in annualized sales potential.
The largest of these deals was the purchase of 40 Certified Tire & Service Centers retail locations and one distribution center in California in May 2019, but the Rochester, N.Y.-based company's buying spree also included established industry players such as Allied Discount Tire & Brake in Louisiana (12 stores), Rick Johnson Auto & Tire in Florida (13 stores) and Superior Tire & Service in Nevada and Idaho (18 stores).
Greenbriar Equity Group L.P. — d.b.a. GB Auto Service Inc. — was a close No. 2 in the retail sector, acquiring 57 tire and auto service locations in four transactions, and now is considered the 10th largest independent tire retail and auto service chain in the U.S. with 116 outlets.
GB Auto's acquistions throughout 2019 were: Evans Tire & Service Centers Inc. in California (17 stores); Lamb's Tire & Automotive Centers in Texas (18 stores); Driver's Edge Complete Tire & Automotive in Texas (11 stores); and Wilhelm Automotive & Tire in Arizona (11 stores).