IRVINE, Calif.-Lansdale & Carr, one of the nation's largest dealerships, has decided to seek buyers of its three remaining business units, 4day Tire Stores, Macho Tire and Shamrock Golf Shops. TIRE BUSINESS ranked Lansdale & Carr's tire operations, all wholly owned subsidiaries, as the 13th largest independent retail dealership in North America based on 1994 tire sales of $50 million.
The decision to begin looking at possibly selling the companies, in any combination, comes following the death of co-founder Donald Carr, who died of leukemia July 16 at the age of 58 while serving as president and CEO.
Mr. Carr's stake in the company, about 57 percent, was passed on in a living trust to his widow, Barbara, who became chairman of the board and CEO.
But Mrs. Carr has never been actively involved in the businesses, according to Floyd Ewton, company president. To help run the firm, Bryan Stone has been hired as CEO.
``It just seems logical for her to convert her holdings into a less volatile investment than the tire business,'' Mr. Ewton said.
The Irvine-based company's president was quick to assert the company ``is not under any pressure to sell; we're doing quite well.''
The firm will begin looking at offers in a number of weeks after a company profile has been prepared by Garte Torre Global Capital Markets, an Irvine-based financial advising firm.
Lansdale & Carr since has tightened things up by recently selling or closing its former Dorman- Winthrop men's clothing operation, its mail order businesses, including Teletire, and a tire warehouse located in Pennsylvania, in order to focus on its more profitable business units, Mr. Ewton said.
The company also closed all of the 4day Tire outlets that had been losing money, leaving 35 company- owned locations and four franchised stores in California and Texas. Lansdale & Carr also has two Macho Tire stores in Texas and two in California.
The four Shamrock Golf Shops, all located in Orange and Los Angeles counties, should be particularly attractive to investors, Mr. Ewton speculated, because they are closely located and profitable.
``I would be very surprised if someone interested in the golf shops was interested in tires and vise versa. I would be very surprised if they would go as a package,'' he said.
Mr. Carr and his former partner, the late Phil Lansdale, added the golf shops to their business in 1973 because they felt their tire buyers-who tended to be upscale consumers-were also likely candidates to shop for golf equipment.
Actually, the company has already received inquiries-both from major tire dealers and from manufacturers-about the sale of the tire business since Mr. Carr's death.
Although he is not interested in purchasing the company himself-``this is a very valuable business, and it's going to cost a lot of money''-Mr. Ewton said he would like to remain with the company, should it be sold, at least during a transitional period.
``For one, I'd like to see it run smoothly, and also, I'd like to keep as many people as possible,'' he said.
Lansdale & Carr reported its 1994 consolidated sales reached $90 million.