Japanese tyre maker Sumitomo Rubber to buy Britain's Micheldever for £215 mn

Japanese tyre maker Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) yesterday struck a deal to buy Britain's second-largest car tyre distributor Micheldever Tyre Services for £215 million ($264.5 million), its second acquisition in a week.

The deal comes just a week after Sumitomo Rubber agreed to buy the trademark rights of the overseas as well as sporting goods and licensing businesses of Dunlop brand for $137.5 million.

The transaction will see two biggest British tyre distributors in Japanese hands, after trading house Itochu acquired Kwik-Fit in 2011 for £637 million.

SRI, the world's sixth-biggest tyre maker by revenue, is buying Micheldever from private equity firm Graphite Capital.

Graphite, which had acquired Micheldever in 2008 as part of an £85 million management buy-out, said that the sale represents a 3.7 times return on its individual investment.

Under Graphite, Micheldever has made 36 acquisitions and grown its Protyre retail chain from 16 to 99 outlets, increased its headcount from 500 to 1,574 and grown revenues from £150 million to £320 million.

Founded in 1972 and based in Hampshire, Micheldever is a wholesaler and retailer of tires to over 6,000 retailers and auto-repair shops in the UK, and sells about 6 million tires per year.

SRI said the deal will allow it to expand in Europe following the dissolution of its 16-year alliance with Goodyear in October 2015.