MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Dec. 1, 2003) — TBC Corp. has completed its $225 million all-cash acquisition of the National Tire & Battery (NTB) retail chain from Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Adding NTB's 225 tire and automotive centers in 20 states, TBC has increased its store count by about 25 percent, to more than 1,160 locations, the Memphis-based company said in a press statement. NTB generates annual revenues of more than $425 million.
The NTB stores will be integrated into TBC's Tire Kingdom Inc. company-owned retail store chain, bringing that subsidiary's store count to more than 585. TBC also operates some 570 franchised Big O Tires Inc. outlets. The company said its NTB buyout provides it with entry into new markets, including Dallas, Houston and Austin, Texas, Chicago, Birmingham, Ala., Boston, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, while strengthening its presence in markets such as Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, and the Washington, D.C., metro area.
“In addition to substantially increasing our store count and expanding our national reach, this acquisition provides us with an excellent opportunity to drive both private brand and major brand tire sales and significantly increase purchasing economies,” said Larry Day, TBC president and CEO, in a prepared statement.
“We welcome all of our new associates to the TBC team and look forward to partnering with Sears over the next six to eight months to ensure a smooth transition of NTB's distribution and store support functions away from Sears and into the Tire Kingdom network.”
TBC said the transaction was financed through debt and sale/leaseback agreements arranged by JP Morgan. TBC's existing credit facilities were amended to allow for the acquisition as well as an additional $65 million term loan.
Of the NTB locations it acquired, TBC said 89 were properties owned by Sears/NTB. Through agreements with Realty Income Corp., substantially all of the previously owned locations were sold and leased back, the company said, with resulting net proceeds to TBC of approximately $134 million.
TBC said the acquisition wasn't expected to have any material impact on its 2003 results, “but is expected to be accretive to earnings in 2004.”
Meanwhile, the company's management team is finalizing 2004 business plans for its various operating units and expects to issue a news release on Dec. 15 regarding TBC's financial outlook for 2004 and the anticipated contribution from its new NTB stores. The company will host a conference call on that day, at 11 a.m. Eastern time, which will be Webcast at TBC's Web site at www.tbccorp.com, then archived on the Web site until Jan. 15.