Michelin completes purchase of Black Circles tyre business

Thu, 07 May 2015 | BUSINESS SALE

French tyre company Michelin has completed its purchase of Scottish tyre fitters Black Circles.

Founded by chief executive Mike Welch when he was just 21 (he is now 36), Black Circles is a healthy company that developed a new business model for the delivery of tyres to consumers.

Dubbed a 'click and fit' business model, Black Circles invited customers to choose their tyres online, before having them delivered from the manufacturer to one of over 1,000 independent garages ready for a fitting.

The business worked well and by 2013 was seeing annual sales of £28 million. Revenue has continued to rise in 2015.

This success has piqued Michelin's interest and the company has agreed to pay £50 million for the Scottish business. Mr Welch will take around a third of this and stay with the business.

He spoke to the BBC about the sale: “I'm delighted to have found in Michelin a partner who shares our passion for customer service, innovation and technology," said Mr Welch. "The strength of the Michelin Group will allow us to underpin the multi-brand offering that we deploy in each garage, on every street corner.

“I am convinced that our teams, our customers, our garages and our suppliers will rapidly start to see the benefits of this partnership.”


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