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Monro buying Clark Tire, six others

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Many of Clark Tire's stores in western North Carolina are former Goodyear company stores.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (Aug. 19, 2016) — Monro Muffler Brake Inc. continues to grow by acquisition, this time striking a deal to buy Clark Tire & Auto Inc. — 26 stores in North Carolina — and closing six other deals comprising nine stores.

The pending acquisition of Clark Tire falls in line with Monro’s revamped strategy to include commercial sales and service in its business mix: Two of Clark Tire’s 26 locations are commercial-only stores and the dealership has a retread plant as well.

The deal also includes Clark’s four wholesale locations, and Monro said it intends to continue to operate all of the dealership’s locations and retain all current store employees.

The value of the deal was not disclosed, but Monro said it would finance the acquisitions through its existing credit facility.

In Monro’s first quarter earnings report, President and CEO John Van Heel said Monro expected to close during the second quarter on a number of “definitive agreements” to acquire stores located within its markets. He said those deals would add approximately $40 million in annualized sales.

Current owner John D. Clark “is helping with the transition,” Monro said.

The dealership was founded in 1943 by Mr. Clark’s father, John A. Clark, in Hickory, N.C., and, up to now, has been part of the Goodyear Tire & Service Network.

Monro did not say at this time what retail brand name it will use for the Clark Tire stores. The deal will nearly double Monro’s presence in North Carolina, where it operates 32 stores, predominantly under the Mr. Tire brand; the total includes 18 former Colony Tire locations it acquired in 2012.

Clark Tire logo

Clark Tire expanded to its current size a couple of years ago, acquiring six stores in new markets in Smokey Mountain communities.

During the quarter ended June 25, Monro added nine stores in six markets through six separate transactions.

These deals include:

  • Kwik-Fit Tire & Service Inc. in Sandy Springs, Ga. It will operate under the Mr. Tire banner.
  • Three Excel Auto & Tire stores, in Rochester, Eagan and Spring Lake Park, Minn., operated by Task Holdings Inc., and single store operated by Autopar Inc.; they are being converted to Monro’s Car-X Auto brand.
  • Harlow Tire Co. in Westland, Mich., which is being converted to Monro Muffler signage.
  • Two Express Tire Centers L.L.C. stores, in Hillsboro and Millford, N.H., which will adopt the Tire Warehouse brand; and
  • Pioneer Tire Pros in Riverview, Fla., which now operates under the Tire Choice banner.

Monro said so far in fiscal 2017 it has invested $47.2 million on acquisitions, including the 29 McGee Tire Stores Inc. retail/commercial tire and automotive repair stores and retread plant in Florida.

Sales for the entities acquired in fiscal 2017 totaled $8.9 million for the period from acquisition date through June 25, Monro said in its first quarter 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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