MOORPARK, Calif. — Big Brand Tire & Service doubled in size in recent weeks via two acquisitions — Integrity Tire (13 stores in southern California) and nine Purcell Tire & Service Center retail stores in Arizona.
The acquisitions expand Moorpark-based Big Brand Tire to 43 stores, elevating the dealership into the Top 25 of independent retail tire dealerships in the U.S., according to Tire Business research.
Financial terms of the deals — which come eight months after Big Brand Tire was acquired by Percheron Investment Management L.P., a private investment concern based in San Francisco — were not disclosed.
The sale of Integrity Tire occurs six years after owner Chris Moll took over the San Bernadino-based dealership from his father and company founder Steve Moll and set about expanding the business beyond the three stores it had at that time.
Since then, Mr. Moll grew the business to a dozen stores, mostly via acquisition. Steve Moll founded the business in 2000 by buying an Express Tire outlet in Hemet, Calif., where had worked a number of years previously.
The deal expands Moorpark-based Big Brand Tire's footprint farther south and into the Inland Empire east of Los Angeles, where most of Integrity Tire's stores are located.
Chris Moll said he's relocating to Colorado, where he plans to get back into the retail tire business in the near future.
Big Brand's deal with Purcell Tire extends the dealership's reach outside of California for the first time. Four of the retail stores acquired are in Phoenix; the others are in Avondale, Casa Grande, Peoria, Tucson and Yuma.
Big Brand has offered Purcell's employees at the Arizona stores the opportunity to continue working under its ownership.
Divesting the retail stores will strengthen Purcell Tire's core commercial tire business, which encompasses 44 sales locations and six retread plants along with OTR sales and service in several locations.
Among these assets are five truck tire centers in Arizona, in Casa Grande, Kingman, Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma.
Purcell maintains some retail sales and service activities at six of its 44 locations.
"Retreading and commercial tire service is what we do best," Purcell CEO Roger Lucas said. "By divesting this geographical group of retail-focused stores, we will be able to focus more of our attention and resources to the further development of retreading and commercial business in both current and new geographic areas."
Commercial sales/service and retreading represented 87% of Purcell's fiscal 2020 sales revenue, according to information the company provided to Tire Business earlier this year, versus just 9% for retail-related activities.
Purcell has built its commercial business in recent years via acquisition, including: Western States Tire in Arizona; D&D Tire in Nevada; Phelps Tire in Alaska and Washington; Northwest Retreaders in Oregon; and Quality Tire, with locations in Colorado, Idaho, Montana and Utah.
Big Brand's new owner, Percheron Investment Management, declined to comment on the deals or provide more information about its plans for the retail tire/auto service sector.
The company debuted earlier this year with an inaugural fund valued at $770 million, raised in just eight months and comprising a diverse group of investors, including university endowments, charitable foundations, pension funds, financial institutions, family offices and fund-of-funds.
Co-founded by private-capital industry veterans Chris Collins and Chris Lawler, Percheron Investment states its focus is on partnering with "high-quality essential services businesses."
Investment targets include services businesses across the animal health, automotive, education, food and beverage, health care/wellness, and residential end markets.
Besides Big Brand Tire, Percheron to date has one other investment: Garden State Veterinary Specialists, a specialty and emergency veterinary services business based in Tinton Falls, N.J.
Prior to founding Percheron, Messrs. Collins and Lawler worked together at Golden Gate Capital, which was majority owner of Mavis Tire Express Service Corp. from 2017 until earlier this year, when it sold most of its holding to an investors group led by BayPine L.P.