Canada: Kal Tire acquires GCR operations from Bridgestone
Kal Tire and Bridgestone Canada have reached an agreement for Kal Tire to purchase 15 full-service GCR Tires & Service (GCR) outlets, two retreading plants and one off-the-road tyre repair shop from Bridgestone. The purchase of these locations will enable Kal Tire to serve more consumer, commercial and mining customers in the Canadian markets where it currently operates, as well as expand its footprint to include locations in eastern Canada.
The GCR retail sites and retreading facilities being purchased by Kal Tire are located in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario. These locations currently serve consumer customers, along with the commercial trucking, OTR, agriculture and mining industries. All 125 GCR employees are expected to join Kal Tire upon completion of the transaction, which is scheduled to close in Q4 2021; the outlets included in the sale will conduct business separately from Kal Tire until the transaction closes.
Bridgestone Americas will continue to operate 59 GCR stores and 13 GCR retreading plants in the Western United States, a fraction of the more than 200 GCR outlets belonging to the network a few years back. The tyre maker has divested its GCR assets in several transactions, including the sale of 46 outlets and six retreading plants to Southern Tire Mart and the sale of 13 stores and three retreading plants to McCarthy Tire Service in 2019 as well as the divestment of 19 outlets to Pomp’s Tire Service last year. Bridgestone nevertheless states that GCR “remains an integral part” of its commercial distribution strategy in the US, adding that it is “committed to serving commercial customers in a best-in-class manner, while continuing to drive growth and support future mobility solutions.”
Founded in 1953, Kal Tire is Canada’s largest independent tyre dealer, with more than 250 retail and commercial outlets from British Columbia to Ontario. Kal Tire is also active around the world in the mining tyre service and supply sector, working with more than 150 mine sites across five continents.
“At Kal Tire, we are driven to provide customers with best-in-class tyres and service. To achieve this, we need to continue to strengthen our network of locations that are staffed by experts in the tyre and service industry,” says Robert Foord, president, Kal Tire. “The purchase of these GCR locations allows us to expand our footprint across Canada, while also bringing more knowledge and expertise to our team.”
“This sale is a positive step for GCR employees and customers who have a bright future ahead as part of the Kal Tire organisation,” said Scott Damon, chief operating officer, Bridgestone Americas. “As Bridgestone and Kal Tire evolve for the future, this transaction will enable strategic growth for both companies. We look forward to building on our longstanding partnership with Kal Tire to drive additional growth in Canada for Bridgestone’s products, brands and mobility solutions.”