HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.Big O Tires franchisees Golden West Tire Centers/Southland Tire have acquired nine Big O stores in Colorado from longtime Big O franchisees Kevin and Valerie Brooks, expanding their combined network to 26 stores.
Golden West Tire Board Member Robert Curry said the deal has been in the works for a few months, since Big O held its franchise owners conference earlier this year in Las Vegas.
The deal makes Golden West Tire/Southland Tirethe two businesses have cross ownership and operate as a single entitythe largest Big O franchisee. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
The deal closed in mid-September after Golden West spent several months performing due diligence, including environmental surveys of the properties, which are on Colorado's West Slopeareas west of the continental divide.
Mike Baynes, proprietor of Auto Center Sales/Lube Center Sales, brokered the deal and helped arrange financing, Mr. Curry said. Golden West/Southland is leasing the stores.
Gerald Greco, COO of Golden West/Southland, will oversee the Colorado stores for the franchise, Mr. Curry said. The business partners established a new entity, GWTC L.L.C., in Colorado to handle their business interests there, he added.
The stores acquired are in Avon, Basalt, Delta, Frisco, Grand Junction (three locations), Glenwood Springs and Montrose. The Brookses opened their third Grand Junction location in 2014.
The husband-and-wife Brooks teama Big O Tires franchisee since 1990have been among the franchise group's top performers multiple times. Mr. Brooks was honored in 2012 with Big O's Point of Light award given to the individual who embodies the spirit of Big O Tires with commitment, values and dedication.
Local newspaper accounts of the deal said the couple indicated they'd like to travel.
The Colorado stores employ approximately 100, Mr. Curry said, all of whom were invited to stay on under the new ownership. Mr. Curry noted the Brookses had quite a few longtime employees who bring valuable experience to the deal.
The stores are all leased, he said, and operate close to the Big O nationwide average of $1.7 million per store annually, or about $15 million together.
As such, the acquired stores are similar in size and scale to the ones in California, he added, noting he and his business partners see room for growth on Colorado's West Slope.
Mr. Curry has been a Big O franchiseee since 1995, opening his first store in Cypress, Calif. Along the way he grew that to 10 stores and several years ago established a partnership with Matt and Gerald Greco, who had seven stores of their own.
This latest deal coincides with growth among a number of Big O Tires franchisees. Among them are: Karl Gabbard in Arizona; Darrin Dolle and Todd and Ron Asher in northern California; and MFA Petroleum Co. in Missouri. (Read more about their expansion plans on page 28.)
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