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MOBILE, AL-Big 10 Tire Stores Inc., the nation’s sixth largest independent tire dealer, has been acquired by an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Inc. in a multi-million dollar transaction that gives the buyer 101 market-dominant locations in the southeastern U.S.

Matthew Garff, a principal with Sun Capital, tells GlobeSt.com that the acquisition of the family owned business, which includes both the Big 10 Tire name and the company’s real estate, is part of a long-term strategy to maximize profits for investors. The tire chain, headquartered in Mobile, AL, was established in 1954 in Pensacola, FL by the Wilson family and is one of the southeast’s largest privately held tire retailers with locations in Florida, Georgia and Alabama.

“We liked how (Big 10) had a very strong, and in most cases leading, position in its respective locations,” says Garff. “We felt we could grow this business and sell it to maximize returns for our investors.”

The tire retailer, which sells a variety of tires and related services, plans to expand by five to 10 stores annually throughout the southeast, according to its website.

Garff, citing confidentiality, declined to identify the affiliate buyer but said the new owners were real estate investors who plan to operate the property under a leaseback agreement. Sun Capital, an international private investment firm specializing in leveraged buyouts and investments in market-leading companies, did not disclose other terms of the buyout.

In a statement released by Big 10 Tire Stores, Don Kennemer, president and CEO, said the sale of the company “is a great opportunity for the Big 10 brand as well as its employees and represents an important shift in the development and growth of Big 10 … to further penetration of its existing retail footprint in southeastern United States” Kennemer could not be reached by GSR for further comment.

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