ROCHESTER, N.Y. (March 19, 2002)—For a variety of reasons, Jim Hartman was ready to get out of the tire dealer game. All he needed was a buyer for his Baltimore-based Kimmel Automotive Inc., which operates 34 stores in Maryland and Virginia.
Enter Monro Muffler Brake Inc. The Rochester-based company was looking to expand into exactly the places where Kimmel has locations: Baltimore and Tidewater, Va.
“The geography just fit perfectly,” Mr. Hartman said of why Munro was such a good fit. “They wanted to get into Baltimore and the next step for them south would have been Tidewater, Va. We really fill in the map for them nicely.”
Kimmel operates 15 Kimmel Tire & Auto Centers in metro Baltimore and has 19 Tread Quarters Discount Tire outlets in the Tidewater area. Monro will buy all 34, as well as three commercial locations and a retread shop.
Monro agreed that points on the compass made the deal—which Mr. Hartman said should be complete by early April—a sensible one for the company.
“We've been on record as being in the market for acquisitions in our geography, acquisitions that makes sense,” said Bob August, Monro senior vice president for store support. “This certainly is in our geography. It's a well-run business that will be a good fit.”
Neither side would say what would become of the three commercial outlets or the retread shop, all of which were included in the sale. Mr. Hartman said he believed the retail employees would be retained, but there could be some changes at the management level. Mr. Hartman plans on retiring.
The two chains will continue to operate under their existing names, Mr. August said. He added that the company is likely to look into similar acquisitions, saying such transactions are part of Monro's philosophy for growth.