EDMONTON, Alberta (June 16, 2008) — Tirecraft Group Inc. has ceased operations after efforts to find a buyer for the Sherwood Park, Alberta-based tire retailer, wholesaler and retreader failed.
Officially Tirecraft Group—consisting of Tirecraft Auto Centers Ltd., Remington Tire Distributors Inc. and Canadian Treads Corp.—is in receivership under the direction of Ernst & Young Inc. in Calgary, Alberta. For the time being 20 corporate retail/commercial stores will remain open, but all other assets are now up for liquidation.
The future of Tirecraft's associate dealer program—which encompasses as many as 330 locations under the Tirecraft and President banners—is still up in the air. At least two offers to continue this program are pending, according to a Tirecraft spokesman.
The demise of Tirecraft, which filed for bankruptcy protection April 15, effectively was sealed May 30 when Quebec's Pneus Unimax Ltd., franchisor of the Unipneu tire retail program and the only serious suitor identified in the process, withdrew its offer to buy all the group's assets of Tirecraft Group Inc., citing a lack of support from Tirecraft's suppliers, landlords and senior management, according to a court filing.
In its letter to all interested parties, Ernst & Young said it is extending an offer to sell assets to any party.
After Tirecraft´s initial bankruptcy filing, a court-appointed monitor was approached in the intial sales process by 107 parties, of which 10 submitted letters of intent. Of these, Pneus Unimax´s was deemed the most viable, but then Unimax asked after two weeks that its bid be terminated and its deposit of C$3.66 million be returned.
Tirecraft operated under the Tirecraft and President banners through 330 affiliated dealers. It maintained 48 company-owned retail/commercial stores, 22 Remington tire distribution warehouses and four Canadian Treads retreading plants for medium truck tires. All told, Tirecraft had about 800 employees and reported sales of more than $450 million (Canadian) for the year ended May 31, 2007.