Expect more acquisitions, says Monro president

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"We expect to complete another couple of acquisitions within the next 12 months," Monro Muffler Brake Inc. President John Van Heel recently told

As the year progresses, the challenging economy will lead to a shake-out of smaller independently owned tire store chains, said Van Heel.

Monro, which has boosted its retail tire store count to 141 vs. 115 outlets approximately one year ago, is poised to capitalize on such developments, he explained.

"Certainly with a tougher economic environment, it may make new acquisition opportunities available. We'll continue to pursue our acquisition growth strategy."

Monro's most recent tire dealership acquisition was announced this past January, when it agreed to purchase the assets of Broad-Elm Group, a seven-store chain based in Buffalo, N.Y.

Monro's tire store division topped $160 million in sales during 2007, said Van Heel. It's the fourth largest independent tire store chain in the United States, according to Modern Tire Dealer research.

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