“Our strategy illustrates our ambition to be ever more innovative, efficient and proactive for our customers by offering them products and services suited to individual needs,” said Michelin CEO Jean-Dominique Senard, “and by simplifying the entire purchase process, from choosing their tires to having them fitted by professionals."
Mr. Welch said he was “delighted” to have found a partner that “shares our passion for customer service, innovation and technology.
“The strength of the Michelin Group will allow us to underpin the multi-brand offering that we deploy in each garage, on every street corner. I am convinced that our teams, our customers, our garages and our suppliers will rapidly start to see the benefits of this partnership.”
Mr. Welch was Black Circle's largest shareholder at roughly a third ownership stake, a spokesman said. He founded the company in 2001 after working in ecommerce for Kwik-Fit Holdings. Michelin reportedly has offered incentives to keep Black Circle's management team in place, a spokesman said.
Michelin said its acquisition of Blackcircles.com will allow it to improve the performance of its mix of distribution channels in the United Kingdom, and in particular to develop synergies with its traditional distributor, ATS Euromaster.