Les Schwab Tire Centers – the nation’s highest-ranked, most customer-focused tire retailer – announced an agreement to sell the Company to family-owned investment firm Meritage Group, Les Schwab Chief Executive Officer Jack Cuniff said recently.
“The decision to sell has always been about securing the long-term success of the Company,” Cuniff said. Meritage Group has a history of preserving culture and values while growing its companies with investment over time. This is a great fit, and aligns well with Les’ vision and all we have built together.”
Les Schwab’s board of directors and its shareholders, who are all relatives of founder Les Schwab, announced in December 2019 their decision to seek new ownership for the Company. They cited the complexities of operating a family-owned business with five generations of family members, as well as the Company’s strong position, as factors prompting the decision.
The Schwab family shareholders said this week in a joint statement:
“As our family grows and ages, it has been very important to us to remain committed and aligned behind our Grandfather’s vision. While it was hard to make the decision to sell the Company, we are very confident Meritage Group will continue that commitment and alignment, and will build on all we have accomplished over the past 68 years.”
The future is bright for Les Schwab with Meritage Group taking over ownership of the Company, the family said.
“We are thrilled with this outcome,” they said. “The Company’s long-term outlook, the opportunities for employees, and the tremendous importance of our customers will remain as Grandpa always imagined.”
Meritage Group, a family-owned private investment firm founded by Nat Simons, invests in public and private companies across a variety of sectors. It continues to own to this day Portland, Oregon-based national beverage distributor Columbia Distributing, which it acquired in 2012.
“We see Les Schwab Tires as an ideal investment,” said Aubrey Barth, Managing Director of Meritage. “The company’s exceptional employees and programs, strong financials, and respected, customer-focused brand set it up for success for years to come.”
“It only took reading 50 pages of Les’ book to realize the Company was a great cultural fit for Meritage,” said Alex Magaro, Co-President and Senior Managing Director of Meritage.
Les Schwab’s operations and management team will remain unchanged.
The sale is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The purchase price is not being disclosed.
The Les Schwab Tire Center in Brookings is located at 801 Chetco Avenue.