Carlisle Companies Inc.'s recent acquisition of Trintex Corp.'s specialty tire and wheel business plays into the firm's strategy of expanding the company's portfolio into product areas where it traditionally has not been a participant.
The Trintex acquisition adds small-sized solid and semi-pneumatic tires to the product range, which already has been expanded in the past year with the firm's entry into the farm/implement and construction/skid-steer categories, according to Dave Bender, product manager, consumer, lawn/garden and golf tires, at Carlisle Tire & Wheel Co., the Aiken, S.C.-based tire division.
``These changes certainly expand our base of opportunity,'' Mr. Bender said, noting that Carlisle views the bread-and-butter lawn and garden/outdoor power equipment markets as ``very mature,'' although improving new home sales this year are breathing life into the whole market.
Carlisle Tire credited higher ATV and outdoor power equipment tire sales for 7-percent organic sales growth last year. Among new products launched last year was a line of radial ATV tires sold under the S-Trac and Badlands XTR names.
The tire and wheel division had sales last year of $485 million, with tires accounting for $250 million. The unit's sales jumped 18 percent in the first quarter and 13 percent in the second quarter of 2004, with sales of ATV tires and wheels, styled wheels and commercial lawn care products leading the way, the firm said.
The acquisition of the Trintex business will add more than $30 million in new sales to Carlisle Tire's ledger and will provide new sales avenues for the company. Carlisle described Trintex as North America's leading manufacturer of semi-pneumatic tires and wheels for the lawn and garden and industrial markets.
``The acquisition of Trintex fits our strategy of allocating resources to businesses where Carlisle has leadership,'' Carlisle Companies President and CEO Richmond McKinnish said in a prepared statement. ``Trintex is a good addition to our portfolio as it extends our product line offering to the specialty tire and wheel markets.''
The assets acquired include Trintex's semi-pneumatic and solid tire and wheel plant in Bowdon, Ga., which becomes Carlisle's third tire manufacturing site in the U.S.
Carlisle Tire produces specialty tires and wheels for golf carts, lawn and garden equipment and light trailers-primarily pneumatic-at plants in Carlisle, Pa., Clinton, Tenn., and Shenzen, China. It closed a trailer tire plant on the Caribbean island of Trinidad last year after it was beset with labor problems; capacity from that plant has been re-allocated among the firm's other facilities, Mr. Bender said.
Carlisle is ramping up capacity at its Chinese joint venture plant to 35,000 units a day from 30,000.
Carlisle has built its specialty tire and wheel business steadily over the past several years by selected acquisitions and organic growth.
Prior to the Trintex purchase, Carlisle's last acquisition was of Titan International Inc.'s $175 million-a-year original equipment consumer tire and wheel business. That deal, in 2000, covered tires and wheels for the lawn and garden, all-terrain vehicle and light-duty trailer markets. It also included Titan's Clinton tire plant and Slinger, Wis., wheel factory along with a lease of Titan's Greenwood, S.C., wheel facility.
Other acquisitions of note: In 1999, Carlisle bought Cragar Industries Inc.'s specialty steel-based wheel assets and gained an exclusive license to manufacture, market, distribute and sell Cragar's line of steel-based automobile and light truck wheels. In 1997, Carlisle bought Wheeltech North America Inc. and Conestoga Tire & Rim Inc., and in 1996 it bought Intero Inc. and Unique Wheel Inc.
Charlotte-based Carlisle Companies posted record net income of $37.4 million in the second quarter, up 30.8 percent from 2003's second period, on record sales of $640.7 million, a 17.4-percent jump from last year.
The firm had net income of $88.9 million in 2003, up 23 percent from the $72.4 million recorded in 2002. Sales for the year came in at $2.11 billion, up 9 percent from the previous year.
Tire Business Special Projects Reporter Bruce Davis contributed to this report.