Following the news that Halfords Group is buying Axle Group Holdings Ltd including 239 National Tyres garages and 60 mobile tyre fitting vans, further details relating to the transaction have emerged. Firstly, while company announcements refer to the purchase of “National”, Halfords’ latest acquisition actually sees the company purchase the entire issued share capital of Axle Group Holdings Ltd (“National”) for £62 million. And the transaction is expected to be completed on 9 December 2021.
Halfords is paying £62 million for National, the tyre and automotive servicing, maintenance and repair business, which operates under the National Tyres and Autocare, Viking Wholesale Tyres and Tyre Shopper brands. As a result, Halfords’ garage estate will grow by more than 60 per cent (from 372 to 604 garages), offering MOT, servicing, fitting and repair services. According to Halfords, this deal makes it “the largest vehicle service, maintenance and repair business in the UK, with the majority of UK households within a 20-minute drive of a Halfords garage.” However, Tyres & Accessories data suggests European Tyre Enterprises Ltd (ETEL), which incorporates 650 Kwik Fits in its portfolio, is still the largest in the UK with a total estate of 740 at the last count.
The Executive Board of Axle Group Holdings Limited have ratified a £12 million, three-year inward investment strategy to help drive its business forward. Further announcements specifically relating to the firm’s acquisition strategy are expected.
Lesley Dalziel, previously group finance director, has been promoted to the position of chief financial officer (CFO) for Axle Group Holdings Ltd (which incorporates National Tyres and Autocare and Viking Wholesale Tyres).
Axle Group Holdings, parent company of National Tyres and Autocare and Viking Wholesale Tyres, has appointed two to its digital division, growing its marketing department. James Kelly has been appointed as digital marketing manager, and Jack Underwood as digital marketing executive.
TyreSafe has appointed Michael Bourne as vice chairman. According to TyreSafe, the recent intensification of activities has brought with it the need for further senior representation of the not-for-profit organisation. As it approaches its 10th anniversary year, TyreSafe now has nearly 100 members and supporters, and increasingly works in partnership with a growing number of road safety stakeholders.
On 28 July Scotland’s Herald newspaper reported that Axle Group Holdings, the holding company behind the National Tyres and Autocare tyre retail chain and the Viking wholesale business, had reported a £2.1 million loss in its full-year 2013 figures. The headline figures were that group sales dipped from £166.3 million in 2012 to £161.5 million in 2013. And that while costs fell, 2012 profits of £3.85 million had become a £2.1 million pre-tax loss for 2013. However the complicated nature of holding company accounts suggests that this doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. Having read accounts filed at company’s house and contacted executives at Axle Group, Tyres & Accessories spoke with company founder, chairman and 60 per cent shareholder Alan Revie who spoke of strong operating results and branch expansion – even a rough goal of 300 branches.
April reports of the Sailun Group’s move to raise capital of “up to 1.2 billion yuan” (c. £114 million) through the private placement of shares is just the latest positive step in the development of a name still in its adolescence. While the merger with Jinyu in 2012, only its tenth year in existence, placed the company alongside larger manufacturers in China, overseas developments have followed, with a large factory in Vietnam online since February. Developing a European base has also come quickly, with Sailun establishing an office headed by managing director Martin West in Solihull by 2010, who has worked quickly to build partnerships with local wholesalers in the various European markets. Meeting West in Solihull, Tyres & Accessories asked how corporate growth has informed Sailun’s approach to the European market.