EDINBURGH, ScotlandGroup Michelin has acquired Black Circles Ltd., owner of the Blackcircles.com Internet tire sales company, as part of its strategy to be more innovative in retailing.
The deal is Michelin's second acquisition of an Internet-based tire sales company in a month.
Michelin is paying $75.5 million for Edinburgh-based Black Circles, which generated $31 million in revenue in 2013, making it the United Kingdom's leading Internet tire sales venture.
Michelin bought a 40-percent share of Allopneus S.A.S. of Aix-en-Provence, France, in mid-April for $64 million.
Run by its founder and CEO Mike Welch, Blackcircles.com has grown about 20 percent per year since 2008, in particular thanks to its click & fit formula, which includes the sale of the product and the service. Blackcircles.com has recruited a network of more than 1,200 tire installers across the U.K. as partners.
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.
Michelin said its acquisition of Blackcircles.com will allow it to improve the performance of its mix of distribution channels in the United Kingdom.