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GPX buys China factory

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GPX International Tire Corp. has acquired Hebei Tyre Co. Ltd. of Hebei, China, expanding its control over its own manufacturing and enhancing its ability to sell in China.

GPX has renamed Hebei Tyre-maker of the Whale brand and one of its key manufacturing partners the past few years-Hebei Starbright Co. Ltd. Financial terms were not disclosed.

GPX did not acquire the rights to the Whale brand name.

``The Hebei facility will help GPX improve fill rates which in turn allows us to increase global customer satisfaction,'' said Bob Sherkin, GPX chairman and co-CEO.

Bryan Ganz, GPX's president and co-CEO, noted that ``Starbright significantly expands GPX's presence in the Asian market and allows us to directly service our growing international markets.''

GPX expects the acquisition to boost its Chinese sales by about $10 million; the remainder of the plant's output will go to GPX brands.

GPX hired Phil FitzGerald, a veteran of international manufacturing environments, as managing director of the Starbright plant.

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