On 6 May 2021 Yokohama Europe GmbH, signed an agreement to acquire 100 per cent of Poland’s ITR CEE Spółka z.o.o., a wholesale distributor engaged in the import and sale of Yokohama tyres in central and eastern Europe. The acquisition is scheduled to be concluded on 14 May 2021, after which the Polish company’s name will be changed to Yokohama CEE Spółka z.o.o.
It is somewhat ironic that the number 2020 has inherent associations with perfect vision and yet this year has turned out to be the most unpredictable in a lifetime. For example, no-one saw President Trump’s twitter-borne sideswipe at Goodyear’s tyres coming last month – how could they? However, on a more serious note, the effects of uncertainty has real-life impact. And this month has seen more than its fair share of such harsh realities in the tyre industry.
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The UK’s largest tyre retailer, Kwik Fit, is being prepared for a sale. The Japanese Itochu group, which owns the European Tyre Enterprises Ltd (ETEL) holding company that controls both Kwik Fit and its wholesale counterpart Stapleton’s Tyre Services, has appointed investment bankers Nomura to advise on strategic options for the company, according to Sky News, with insiders suggesting a sale is very likely.
After years of expansion amongst the top 20 UK tyre retailers, the latest data shows that this trend peaked in 2017/2018 when the top 20 accounted for 2014 branches. The same 20 tyre retailers had 1980 branches between them in 2018/2019. And what’s more, the reorganisation of one retailer alone accounted for a 40-centre decline in branch count, with the overall figure remaining positive due to growth at other chains. Here Tyres & Accessories analyses the branch count data in the context of 10 years of comparable research.
Leading UK tyre group, European Tyre Enterprise Ltd (ETEL), has announced a series of promotions within its senior management, including the appointment of a new CEO following Kenji Murai’s promotion to a global position with parent company, Itochu.
Kwik Fit reports that it is seeing fleet demand for its range of mechanical services increasing and is forecasting further growth in 2015. According to the company, the catalyst for growth was the opening of 20 Kwik Fit Plus centres. Indeed, Kwik Fit Plus centres are said to form a key part of parent company Itochu Corporation’s ongoing network-wide multi-million pound refurbishment and modernisation programme.
75 years after the company’s foundation, Stapleton’s, its suppliers and its partners are all celebrating three quarters of a century in business.
It’s hard to imagine what Sidney Stapleton would make of the company that bears his name 75 years on from the September day in 1937 when he first incorporated the firm and opened his premises at 195 High Street, Watford. By the end of the Second World War in 1945, the company had not only survived but expanded with the opening of a new depot in nearby Hitchin – a move that brought the weekly wage bill to a total of £20.
Stapleton’s Tyre Services has officially confirmed that on 28 February 2011 it acquired all the shares of North Eastern Tyre & Exhaust Limited (NETE). However, an official statement issued by the company reported that NETE will continue to trade as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stapleton’s Tyre Services. Stapleton’s representatives said the company intends to complement NETE’s “professional approach to the market and their excellent customer service in order to ensure the future success of both companies.” No further details of the price or the terms have yet been released.
Kwik-Fit Group has confirmed earlier reports that PAI Partners has sold the fast fit chain to the Japanese Itochu Corporation for £637 million. The purchase price is said to include £457 million of debt, which will be paid off in full at completion, according to a Financial Times report. The deal is reportedly Itochu’s biggest investment in the UK and follows its acquisition of Stapletons in 1994. The company is also already talking about the potential synergies between the two businesses:
Kwik-Fit has reportedly been sold to the Japanese conglomerate that owns Stapleton’s, Itochu Corporation. According to a City AM report, the deal follows the signing of a three digit million pound deal yesterday (1 March 2011). The article suggests Kwik-fit’s former owner, private equity firm PAI Partners” has “cashed out” of its six-year ownership of the chain for “£637 million, which includes net debts of £457 million.” A Kwik-Fit spokesman refused to confirm or deny the reports when Tyres & Accessories asked for confirmation of the news. Either way, the reports suggest the deal is still subject to regulatory approval.