The most gripping private equity tale of 2017? Japanese tyre firm agrees £215m takeover deal for British counterpart

William Turvill
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Graphite Capital first backed the company back in 2006 (Source: Getty)

A Japanese tyre company has agreed a £215m takeover deal for a UK counterpart.

Private equity firm Graphite Capital today announced the sale of Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS) to Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI), Japan’s sixth largest tyre manufacturer.

Graphite said the sale represents a 3.7 times return on its individual investment. The private equity house originally backed the company in 2008 as part of an £85m management buy-out.

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During this time, MTS, the UK’s second largest distributor of car, 4X4 and motorcycle tyres, has made 36 bolt-on acquisitions and grown its Protyre retail chain from 16 to 99 outlets.

Its turnover has increased from £150m to £320m, while its headcount has gone from 500 to 1,600.

“Graphite has been a highly supportive owner of MTS and helped us drive the expansion of the business,” said MTS chief executive Duncan Wilkes. “SRI is fully committed to the UK market and to supporting our proven approach to growing the business.

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“Today’s transaction ensures continuity of both management and of our successful multi-brand, multi-segment strategy. We look forward to working with SRI in the further development of the business.”

Graphite senior partner, Markus Golser, said: “MTS is a high-quality business run by an exceptional management team.

“Under our ownership, the company has consolidated its leading position in the UK and it remains extremely well placed to take advantage of the substantial growth opportunities in the tyre wholesale and retail markets.”

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