BEND, Ore. — Les Schwab Tire Centers has struck a deal to buy Plains Tire Co., the Casper, Wyo.-based dealership owned by the Nicholls family with nine stores in Wyoming.
The deal, for which financial terms are not being disclosed, is expected to close in early August, Les Schwab Tire said, noting that it is pursuing other expansion and buy-out opportunities alongside new store construction to build its network.
Les Schwab opened its first store in Wyoming in Rock Springs — a community of about 23,000 near the Colorado-Utah state lines — in 2019 with plans to grow its footprint over time.
"With this purchase, we are able to serve much of the state in one step," Les Schwab CEO Jack Cuniff said.
"Plains Tire is a strong and healthy company, and it's exciting to be able to speed up our growth by welcoming these stores, employees and customers into Les Schwab."
No changes will be made immediately for the Plains Tire stores while Les Schwab evaluates how best to integrate the two companies.
Plains Tire owner Larry Nicholls said Les Schwab is the right buyer at the right time.
"Plains Tire is strong because our hard-working employees provide the excellent service our customers rely on," Mr. Nicholls said. "Being part of Les Schwab, a company consistently rated the best in the tire industry, will create even more opportunity for our people, and I know our employees, customers and communities will be well cared for.
"I don't believe I could have found a better partner than Les Schwab to sell our family's company to, and I'm excited to watch these stores grow and flourish."
The first Plains Tire store opened in 1941.
The Nicholls family also operates three stores in Utah under the Discount Tire & Auto brand and one store in Idaho under the Bargain Tire brand. These stores are not part of the deal.
"We believe we are an outstanding partner for well-run, highly respected tire dealers who want to see their employees, customers and business well taken care of, and want to grow together with our company," Corey Parks, chief administrative officer for Les Schwab, said.
Regarding further expansion, Mr. Parks — who leads the company's expansion and development initiatives — said: "Les Schwab is actively looking for opportunities to acquire other great companies like Plains Tire."
The acquisition will build on Bend-based Les Schwab's network of 500-plus stores throughout its 10-state operating footprint: Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Plains Tire's stores are located in Casper (two stores), Evanston, Gillette, Green River, Laramie, Riverton, Rock Springs and Sheridan.