Les Schwab Goes Up For Sale: Who's Next?

Mike Manges
Posted on February 10, 2020

Note: This blog was written prior to the recent announcement that Mavis Tire Supply Co. is acquiring 112 NTB Tire & Service Centers.

Two recent announcements have generated a great deal of speculation: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s acquisition of Raben Tire Co. and the decision by Les Schwab Tire Centers’ shareholders to put the Bend, Ore.-based dealership – the fifth largest independent tire store chain in the United States – up for sale.

The Raben deal gives Goodyear nine more retail outlets and 10 additional commercial outlets in the Midwest. (Goodyear also picks up 11 combined retail/commercial locations and three retread plants as part of the transaction.)

Whatever entity that ends up buying Les Schwab will inherit nearly 500 combined commercial/retail locations throughout the northwestern U.S., including Alaska. It will acquire three Les Schwab retread plants, as well.

In addition, Les Schwab’s buyer or buyers will gain an independent brand that has been synonymous with tire sales and service in its geographic area for many decades – similar to what Raben, which is based in Indiana, brings to Goodyear.

But who – or what – will meet Les Schwab’s reported asking price of $3 billion?

The answer: It won’t be a tiremaker. I’m betting the buyer will be a private equity group.

But don’t just take my word for it. Independent tire dealerships “remain quality unique strategic assets" for private equity firms, according to John Healy, author of MTD’s monthly Marketplace column and managing director and research analyst with Cleveland, Ohio-based Northcoast Research Holdings LLC.

In my 23 years in our industry, I don’t remember ever seeing as many acquisitions as the number that we witnessed last year.

Which dealership will be next?

Count on the following: It will be a company that nobody expected, much like Raben and Les Schwab. The dealership’s eventual buyer will come from left field, too. And whether or not the Les Schwab transaction is completed by then, the next “for sale” sign will go up before the end of the year.

What's your prediction?

Related Topics: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Les Schwab Tire Centers, Raben Tire Co. Inc.

Mike Manges Editor
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
Fountain Tire was well-represented during the OTR Tire Conference. From left to right: Nelson Tonn, vice president of sales and mine service; Ben Miller, director of mining operations; Darren Chalifoux, director of OTR safety and equipment; Fountain Tire CEO Brent Hesje; and Gary Foley, director of store OTR operations, in front of a Stellar Industries service truck.

Notes from the 65th TIA OTR Tire Conference

The 65th edition of the Tire Industry Association Off-the-Road Tire Conference is in the books. Here are some notes from the three-day event, which attracted attendees from all over the globe.

The Cooper Work Series All-Steel Drive (ASD) tire is an open shoulder steel-belted drive tire.

Cooper to Unveil 2 New Truck Tires at TMC Show

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has expanded its Work Series line of tires with the introduction of two new tires in 19.5-inch sizes (225/70R and 245/70R) for Class 4 through Class 6 trucks and vans.


Bridgestone's Sales Fall 3% in 2019

Net sales for Bridgestone Corp. in fiscal 2019 were 3,525.6 billion yen, down 3% versus the previous year. Operating profit was 326 billion yen, a decrease of 19% compared to 2018.

The new Conti HSR+ is also available with a matching retread, the ContiTread HSR 16/32-inch all-position retread.

Continental Is Showcasing Latest Regional Drive Tires at TMC

The newest 19.5-inch tires for Class 4 trucks are among the products Continental is highlighting at the TMC Annual 2020 scheduled for Feb. 25-27 in Atlanta, Ga. the American Trucking Association’s 2020 Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition.


Goodyear Recalls 3,721 Fortera HL Tires

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is recalling certain Fortera HL all-season light truck tires, size P255/65R18. The potential number of units affected is 3,721.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from MTD delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the tire industry and don't miss a thing!

We respect your data and privacy.
By clicking the submit button below, you are agreeing with Bobit Business Media’s Privacy Policy and this outlined level of consent.