CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 7, 2000) — Heafner Tire Group Inc. has agreed to acquire Merchants Inc.´s wholesale operations — American Tire Distributors (ATD) — and with it nine warehouses in six states.
The latest buyout, which follows Heafner´s acquisition in May of the T.O. Haas Tire Co., helps the country´s largest independent marketer of tires and tire-related products "establish platform distribution operations in the two areas of the country we were not servicing previously," said Donald C. Roof, Heafner´s president and CEO. The two transactions "greatly expand our service geography and the capabilities we bring to the independent tire dealers in this country."
ATD has distribution centers in Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Jim Matthews, who has headed ATD´s operations for Merchant´s, will take an executive management role with Charlotte-based Heafner.
Merchant´s CEO Michael Riggan said the sale of the wholesale division is a critical step in the company´s mission of becoming "the preferred provider of tires and automotive services.
"For many years, we have tried to divide our resources and energies between the retail/commercial customer and independent tire dealers. This change will allow us to focus 100 percent of our attention on the retail/commercial customer and will allow us to aggressively grow and strengthen our retail business," he said.
Merchant´s goal is to double the size of its retail chain over the next three years. Based in Manassas, Va., it currently operates 116 retail and five commercial locations that will be served by its Manassas distribution center.