The family shareholders of Les Schwab Tire Centers, which has 492 locations in 10 states, intend...

The family shareholders of Les Schwab Tire Centers, which has 492 locations in 10 states, intend to sell their company in the next few months.

Photo: Les Schwab Tire Centers

Les Schwab Tire Centers, Bend, Oregon, is for sale. Les Schwab is the exclusive distributor of Toyo brand truck tires in the states of Oregon and Washington and is the fourth largest independent commercial tire dealership in the U.S. – and the 11th largest medium truck tire retreader in the U.S. – according to Modern Tire Dealer research.

The company's board of directors and its shareholders, who are all relatives of founder Les Schwab, have hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to find a buyer. The sales process is expected to take several months. A local media outlet, The Oregonian, is reporting the company expects a selling price of at least $3 billion.

The decision to sell was made from a position of strength and based on the realities of being a family-owned business with five generations of family members, according to a statement issued by the family shareholders.

“Given the complexities of a fifth-generation family business, and managing a company of our size, we are at an important point in the life of Les Schwab Tire Centers. As our family grow and ages, it is increasingly critical to us that ownership remain committed and aligned behind our grandfather’s vision.”

The family shareholders believe new ownership offers the best option for the company’s long-term viability. They said in their statement, “After careful review and a lot of consideration, we concluded a new ownership group will help ensure future opportunity for our wonderful employees and secure continued success for the company as it grows. We believe a new owner – one with deep experience and resources – will carry forward the Les Schwab vision far into the future.

“Our incredible tire centers, and the company and communities we have built together, make us proud. As hard as it is to make the decision to sell this company, we are confident it will offer tremendous opportunity to build on all we have accomplished together for our customers, communities and our employees. We are excited to see what the future will bring.”

CEO Jack Cuniff said new ownership will position the company for additional growth and success.

"This company is strong,” he said. “We believe this is the best way to honor Les’ vision for the company and stores and support growth and innovation. Our owners are responsible stewards, and this decision was made after much consideration. It was not made lightly.”

Les Schwab Tire Centers is the fifth largest independent tire dealership in the U.S. on the 2019 Modern Tire Dealer 100 list. The company holds the fourth spot on MTD’s ranking of independent commercial tire dealers in the U.S. and is No. 11 on MTD’s list of the nation’s largest retreaders.

Les Schwab has more than 7,000 employees and more than 492 locations, including its network of member dealers, throughout Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. Les Schwab also operates three plants for producing truck tire retreads.

The company reported $1.8 billion in retail sales as of Sept. 2019. Les Schwab sells the following tire brands: Continental, Dean, Federal, Hankook, Cooper, Bridgestone, Mastercraft, Toyo and Pirelli.

A version of this article originally appeared on Modern Tire Dealer, a Bobit Business Media sister publication to HDT.