There's another big change afoot in the North American tire distribution landscape. This time, it's in Canada. Groupe Touchette Inc. is acquiring Atlas Tire Wholesale Inc. Combined, Groupe Touchette forecasts sales revenues to range between $550 million and $650 million.
Groupe Touchette is on a mission to expand its footprint across Canada. With Atlas Tire Wholesale, it gains a bigger presence in Ontario. It also provides another point of access to car dealerships and independent tire retailers with its three distribution centers in the greater Toronto area (Mississauga, Scarborough and Vaughan). Another center in Vaughan, with more than 182,000 square feet of space, will be in operation in the spring of 2019, and will become Groupe Touchette's largest facility.
In all Atlas Tire Wholesale has seven distribution facilities, including the one opening next year. It also has operations in Alberta (in Edmonton and Calgary) and in British Columbia (in Delta.)
Before the acquisition, Groupe Touchette used its DT Tire and TireLink brands to distribute tires in the Ontario market from five distribution centers.
Those seven centers from Atlas give Groupe Touchette a total of 35 locations across the country, and expand the company's total storage capacity by 25%. In Ontario alone Groupe Touchette will have more than a half million square feet of distribution space.
The company says the merger will not prompt a reorganization "apart from a few adjustments that may be necessary, and the two companies will gradually integrate the Ontario market over the next year." Groupe Touchette has more than 600 employees.
Groupe Touchette is owned by Nicolas Touchette and Frédéric Bouthillier.
Touchette, CEO of Groupe Touchette, says, "Atlas Tire Wholesale Inc. is a respected major player in Ontario, making it the ideal partner for Groupe Touchette to strengthen its position as a key player in Canada and, more specifically, in Ontario. In addition to providing an opportunity for increased market coverage, we realized that there was a natural fit and no significant overlap between both companies. With the acquisition of Atlas Tire Wholesale Inc., we are taking an important step in our expansion plan by ensuring a strong presence in Canada's largest market."
Bouthillier, chief operating officer of the company, says, "Atlas Tire Wholesale Inc. benefits from well-established and respected brand equity as well as solid market expertise. We will take the time over the next few months to learn, study, listen and get to know Atlas Tire Wholesale Inc.'s employees and clients. Through this transaction, thanks to the addition of dedicated and qualified employees and through a strong clients network, Groupe Touchette just got better by significantly improving its coverage of the Ontario and Canadian markets. This will be an exciting new adventure that will lead us to unprecedented highs and unparalleled achievements."
Peter-James Gregory, president of Atlas Tire Wholesale, adds, "While Atlas has never been for sale, we have had a few unsolicited approaches in recent years. The approach from Groupe Touchette was interesting and, as we listened, we felt that they would be the right partner to ensure the continuity and development of what we have built over the past 28 years. Throughout our discussions, I was impressed by their commitment toward our employees, clients and partners. I am convinced that Groupe Touchette has what it takes to win in the Ontario market and become the leader in Canada.
Groupe Touchette continues to operate under the TireLink and DT Tire brands, and will continue the Atlas Tire Wholesale name as well. The company also serves consumers under the Tireland/IciPneu and TirePartners/Pneu Solutions. For more information, visit www.groupetouchette.com.