Tire Kingdom Inc. acquires Mueller Tire

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Tire Kingdom Inc., fresh from opening six retail outlets in Florida and North Carolina, has continued its aggressive expansion by acquiring Mueller Tire & Brake's 19-store chain based in Cleveland, Ohio.

"For some time, we have been looking to enter markets in the Midwest," said Tire Kingdom CEO Orland Wolford.

The acquisition, which is expected to be completed in March, gives Tire Kingdom 207 outlets, making it the fourth largest independent tire store chain in North America.

Under the letter of intent signed today, Mueller Tire is selling certain assets of the business and transferring all leases to Tire Kingdom. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"Even as the tire business has been consolidating and many retailers have gone out of business, we have grown from one location with 12 associates to 19 locations with 230 people," said Scott Mueller, Mueller Tire's chairman. "Going forward, however, the retailers that will lead the industry will need to be very efficient and have sufficient capital to sustain growth.

"Tire Kingdom has the infrastructure and financial resources to build on what we started."

Mueller Tire's 15 stores in Northeast Ohio will continue to operate under the Mueller Tire name. Mueller Tire also runs four stores in the Columbus, Ohio, area.

Both Scott and Dean Mueller, co-owners of Mueller Tire, plan to remain active in the Cleveland-area business community and will focus their efforts on other business interests.

"We are looking forward to retaining many of the Mueller associates," said Wolford.

Tire Kingdom, based in Riviera Beach, Fla., is a subsidiary of TBC Corp.

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