Longtime commercial and off-the-road (OTR) tire distributor Antioch Tire Inc. recently pulled off one of the largest takeovers/mergers among independent commercial dealers in industry history when it acquired Chicago Bandag Inc./CBA Tire and integrated the two Chicago-area businesses into a new entity, Tredroc Tire Services.
The deal, which closed Oct. 31 for an undisclosed amount, created a dealership with 21 commercial tire outlets in four states, six Bandag retread shops and annual sales of $158 million.
Antioch and CBA have been working together on certain aspects of business for the past several years, according to Stevan Weakley, president of the new company. In fact, the "A" in CBA Tire stood for Antioch, he said, the remnant of a joint venture Chicago Bandag owner Dan Sickafoose had with Antioch founder John Lavelle Sr.
Mr. Lavelle continues as CEO of Tredroc, and together he and Mr. Weakley are the principal owners of the new company. Mr. Sickafoose, son of Chicago Bandag founder Frank Sickafoose, stays with Tredroc as a vice president.
"It really came down to looking at what would be more effective," Mr. Weakley said, "co-existing in this marketplace vs. combining forces.
"Quite naturally we felt combining forces would result in one plus one equaling more than two."
The companies are transitioning their respective assets to the Tredroc name, Messrs. Weakley and Lavelle said. That process should last throughout 2008.
The name Tredroc ties into the companies' respective strengths, Mr. Weakley said, the "Tred" referring to Chicago Bandag's heritage as a retreader and "roc" referring to Antioch's three decades as an OTR tire specialist. The firm promotes itself as, "More Resources, Rock Solid Solutions."
Prior to the merger, Antioch Tire was a wholesaler as well as commercial tire dealership, with an emphasis on off-the-road tires.
Tredroc continues to operate CBA's six Bandag plants, producing about 1,100 retreads a day. Tread rubber consumption last year of 5.2 million pounds puts Tredroc among the 15 largest truck tire retreaders in North America.
Tredroc operates more than 200 service vehicles through its 21 sales/service locations. The company's sales territory takes in northern Illinois and Indiana, southern Wisconsin and Michigan's lower peninsula.
Asked whether Tredroc has growth aspirations beyond its existing footprint, Mr. Weakley said, "We're eating the elephant one bite at a time."
The biggest challenge the companies faced in merging their assets, Mr. Weakley said, were incompatibilities with their operating software. Otherwise, he noted, the companies' operations fit together with little overlap, and the personnel have come together smoothly under the new banner.
The company offers Bridgestone, Continental, Cooper, Firestone, General, Goodyear, Hankook, Michelin, Toyo and Yokohama new tires.
Mr. Sickafoose's father Frank, a trucking company owner, founded Chicago Bandag in 1961. Mr. Lavelle started Antioch Tire in 1977.