Tire network changes hands after market downturn

SHERWOOD PARK, Alta. — The financially troubled Tirecraft Group has provided Quebec’s largest tire distributor with an avenue to expand west.

Pneus Unimax of Boucherville, Que. was granted approval from the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta to acquire all of the assets of the Tirecraft Group, which is headquartered in Alberta.

Faced with financial difficulties, Tirecraft – North America’s seventh largest tire retailer – sought protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (C-36) on April 15. The deal is expected to close on May 30.

"In line with our previously announced intention to expand the UNIPNEU banner to Ontario, the acquisition of Tirecraft’s assets constitutes a strategic decision that complements our vision of growth,” said Pneus Unimax president and CEO, René Gélinas. “The potential acquisition of Tirecraft is excellent news since by doing so we will penetrate the out-of-Quebec market by acquiring an integrated organization operating in all major cities across Canada."

According to Gélinas, Pneus Unimax’s expertise in distribution was a major consideration in the offer to buy and will prove very useful.

Tirecraft operates under the Tirecraft and President banners comprising 330 affiliated dealers. With its 48 corporate stores, the Remington network of 22 tire distribution warehouses and four Canadian Treads retreading plants for medium trucks. Approximately 800 employees work at its facilities across Canada.

Pneus Unimax has also confirmed its intention to maintain Tirecraft’s existing business model, along with the Tirecraft and President banners, the Remington network and the Canadian Treads plants.

Created in 1979, Pneus Unimax is Quebec’s largest tire distribution network with 86 independent dealers-shareholders operating under the UNIPNEU banner at 135 retail, wholesale, and commercial sales outlets in Quebec and the Maritimes.

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