Like London buses, acquisitions come along in threes - or so the string of recent purchases in the UK tyre distribution sector would make it seem. Between the tail-end of February and the very first days of March, it emerged that Stapleton’s Japanese owner Itochu had bought Britain’s largest tyre retailer Kwik-Fit, Stapleton’s had itself bought North Eastern Tyres & Exhausts, while fellow Grouptyre member King David Tyres had been sold to Malvern Tyres. And what’s more, this movement doesn’t look like it has quite finished yet. In February Harris Brothers sold its four branches to Micheldever Tyres Services, bringing the company’s retail depot count to 53 and counting. True, this overview is lumping changes in the wholesale business together with developments in the retail sector, but as history and recent events tell us the two parts of the trade are inextricably linked.