OTTAWA — Quebec-based Groupe Touchette Inc. has acquired Atlas Tire Wholesale Inc., a major supplier to dealerships and tire retailers in Ontario, the companies announced Thursday.
Already the country's largest Canadian-owned tire wholesaler with 28 distribution centres, Groupe Touchette said it has taken "a major step toward completing its Canadian market coverage" with the purchase.
In Canada’s largest cities, Groupe Touchette assures dealership tire delivery in three hours or less, 90 per cent of the time.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Both companies, which together employ more than 700, are owned privately.
The purchase gives Groupe Touchette three distribution centres in the Toronto area plus a new, 182,000-sq.-ft. centre set to open in spring 2019 in Vaughan, Ont., that will be Groupe Touchette's largest Canadian facility. Atlas operations in Calgary, Edmonton and Delta, B.C., are also part of the sale.
With the acquisition, Groupe Touchette is forecasting yearly sales of $550 million to $650 million.
Groupe Touchette operates five DT Tire and TireLink distribution centres in Ontario. Chief executive Nicolas Touchette said the company will gradually integrate operations in the province. Because there is little overlap between Groupe Touchette and Atlas, the focus will be on expansion rather than consolidation.
"We're going to take the time to do it properly," Touchette told Automotive News Canada.
Both companies began as small operations – Groupe Touchette as a single shop opened by Nicolas's father, André, in Montreal in 1979 and Atlas as a one-van delivery service launched by Peter Gregory in the Toronto area in 1990.
Gregory said his company had not been for sale, although he had had interest from other prospective buyers in recent years.
However: "The approach from Groupe Touchette was interesting and, as we listened, we felt that they would be the right partner to ensure the continuity and development of what we have built over the past 28 years," Gregory said in a release.