MANASSAS, Va.—Staying true to its promise to grow into new markets, Merchant's Inc. has purchased Buffalo, N.Y.-based wholesaler Interstate Tire Co. Terms of the deal, which closed Dec. 7, weren't disclosed. Merchant's President Jim Matthews said the firm currently is operating the wholesale outlet as Interstate Tire, but will eventually change the name to American Tire Distributors, Merchant's wholesale division.
Interstate Tire serves western New York, from Buffalo to Syracuse, and as far south as Erie, Pa. Mr. Matthews called the acquisition ``over and above'' his dealership's September announcement that it plans to double its sales volume to $600 million per year within five years.
``We will look at any acquisition that makes and adds value to the company,'' he said. ``We thought Buffalo would add value to our wholesale division.''
He declined to disclose Interstate's annual sales or elaborate on how it adds value to Manassas-based Merchant's.
The firm doesn't plan to expand Interstate Tire into more outlets, but will expand its business operations to include new products and programs, Mr. Matthews said without elaborating on those plans.
The deal came about, he said, through casual talks between him and his friend Jerry Mason, Interstate Tire's former owner and current manager, who plans to retire in the next two years.
With the addition of Interstate Tire, Merchant's operates 12 wholesale outlets. The dealership also has 125 retail stores and posted $170 million in sales in 1997, according to Tire Business' retail rankings.