LINCOLN, Neb. (Aug 29, 2001)—A group of key T.O. Haas employees said it has agreed to purchase the retail division of the Lincoln-based dealership from Heafner Tire Group Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Under the agreement, the investment group, headed by Haas vice president of retail George Hoellen, will acquire the division's 29 stores located in Nebraska and Kansas. The division has approximately 225 employees.
T.O. Haas Tire has operated retail and wholesale distribution centers since 1947. Huntersville, N.C.-based Heafner, one of North America's largest independent tire marketers, with three divisions operating in 35 states, acquired T.O. Haas Tire in April 2000.
Mr. Hoellen, said the agreement will allow Haas Tire´s retail division to “continue our current business philosophies which have proven to be very successful for us over the years.
``Our long history of marketing tires and automotive services have proven to us there are two very distinct and separate markets in the Midwest, and we have learned to tailor our stores to fit both the metropolitan and agricultural areas.´´
Dick Johnson, president and CEO of Heafner, said the decision was made after a great deal of thought. ``Heafner has been focused on its core business, which is the distribution business,” he said, “and Heafner wanted to complete a transaction that was in the best interests of our employees as well as our markets.
“ We were looking for a group that was firmly committed to the retail business. The hardworking employees of T.O. Haas Tire´s Retail Division and their customers deserve this consideration. T.O. Haas Tire´s Retail Division as well as the Distribution Operation´s reputation for quality service and products is unrivaled in the Midwest and we wanted to continue that positive momentum.´´
Heafner said it will continue operating Haas Tire´s distribution operations as Heafner Tire Group - Central, with warehouses in Lincoln, Neb., Sioux Falls, S.D., Watonga, Okla., and Nevada, Iowa.