DELPHOS, Ohio (Nov. 22, 2010) — Wholesale tire distributor K&M Tire Inc. has bought the assets of Universal Cooperatives Inc.'s Triton Tire & Battery business, considered one of the largest distributors of farm tires in the U.S. with five warehouses throughout the Great Plains and Mississippi Valley.
The deal, which closed Nov. 15, will boost K&M Tire's annual sales by about $50 million, according to K&M Tire President Ken Langhals. Terms of the deal, negotiated over the past four months, were not disclosed.
Eagan, Minn.-based Triton Tire's five leased warehouses are in Jacksonville, Ark.; Wichita, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; Bismarck, N.D.; and Eagan. The firm's employees were offered employment with K&M Tire, and Mr. Langhals anticipates adding personnel and delivery vehicles to the network in order to improve the firm's distribution capabilities in the acquired territories to beyond once a week.
Besides farm tires, which make up roughtly one-fourth of the business's sales, Triton Tire distributes passenger and light truck tires and batteries. Included in its brands is the Co-Op farm tire brand, which K&M will continue to sell, Mr. Langhals said.
“We are very excited to have all of the Triton employees and warehouses join the K&M organization,” Mr. Langhals said.
“The two companies have very similar cultures of quality, service, and relationship building. The Triton customers can look forward to being served by the same people with the same quality products.”
Triton Tire listed a customer base of about 2,000 customers. Mr. Langhals said more than two-thirds of Triton's customers were independents outside of Universal Cooperatives affiliates.
Universal Cooperatives CEO Terrance Bohman said, “As Universal Cooperatives positions itself for the future, we're mindful of the important contributions made by all of the Triton employees and the importance of continued availability of quality tire and battery products for our customers. It was very important to Universal that Triton join a company like K&M that is committed to serving our customers in agriculture.”
Following the purchase, Delphos-based K&M has 11 wholesale distribution locations serving customers in 14 states from Ohio to the Dakotas. Among those is one in Madison, Wis., that K&M opened recently.
Lingate Financial Group of Minneapolis handled the transaction on behalf of Universal Cooperatives, K&M said.
Founded in 1970, K&M lists 35 tire brands on its website, including the Co-Op brand.
Universal Cooperatives is an interregional farm supply cooperative providing manufacturing, distribution and purchasing services for its members in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Universal is owned by 14 regional agricultural cooperatives that collectively represent more than $30 billion in sales and more than $11 billion in assets