Tyre Manufacturer Leads Chase for National Tyres
A ‘big manufacturer’ has teamed up with Robson Asset Management (RAM), a private equity company established by former Royal Bank of Scotland finance chief Jeremy Robson, to bid for National Tyres and Autocare. According to the The Times, RAM is leading in the £100 million auction. However, Reuters has reported that there was interest in the auction from Phoenix Equity Partners-backed Nationwide Autos, PAI Partners-controlled Kwik-Fit and Graphite Capital-supported Micheldever Tyre Services.
Tyre manufacturer Bridgestone narrowly missed out on a bid to purchase Kwik-Fit two years ago. Bridgestone representatives continue to be silent on the deal, explaining that their policy is not to comment on speculation. However, Michelin already owns the UK’s largest tyre retail equity, Goodyear Dunlop has put all its efforts into developing its HiQ franchise and Continental is unlikely to about face and re-buy the company it sold as a loss-making business in 2002 – leaving only Bridgestone as a likely contender.
Earlier reports had suggested that Nationwide Autos had already made a bid for National. When news of the National sale broke earlier in July, Micheldever executives flatly denied they were bidding for the company. Kwik-Fit representatives refused to comment in relation to the auction.