Matrix Announces the Successful Sale of Certified Tire & Service Centers, Inc.
RICHMOND, VA / BALTIMORE, MD – May 20, 2019 – Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. (“Matrix”), a leading, independent investment bank, is pleased to announce the closing of the previously announced sale of California-based Certified Tire & Service Centers, Inc. (“Certified Tire” or the “Company”) to Monro, Inc. (NASDAQ: MNRO) (“Monro”), a leading provider of automotive undercar repair and tire services. The acquisition includes Certified Tire’s 40 retail stores and one distribution center.
Established in 1997 by industry veteran Jeff Darrow, Certified Tire is a leading independent automotive service chain on the West Coast. Headquartered in Riverside, CA, the Company has expanded from its original single site in Moreno Valley to its current footprint in the Los Angeles (23 locations), San Francisco (10 locations), and San Diego (7 locations) markets. Today, Certified Tire is the 3rd largest independent tire dealer headquartered in California and the 27th largest in the United States. Supporting Certified Tire’s approximately $45 million in sales are the Company’s 275 loyal team members, nearly all of whom will be transitioning with the business.
Mr. Darrow has been an innovator in the automotive repair business for over 40 years. He began his career in 1976 working as a tire installer for Bridgestone/Firestone in Southgate, California. After working as a salesman and assistant manager, in 1980, at the age of 20, Mr. Darrow was appointed store manager of Firestone’s Los Alamitos location. Over the next decade, he continued to receive various accolades within the organization until he was once again promoted in 1990, this time to district manager, responsible for 25 stores located throughout Orange County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County. After several years in that position, Mr. Darrow was determined to establish his own footprint, and following stints as partial owner of several operations, opened the doors of the first Certified Tire site two decades after his career began. From that date until the sale to Monro, Mr. Darrow has been recognized as a pioneer and leader in the California independent tire dealer market.
Commenting on the transaction, Mr. Darrow stated, “As Certified Tire has expanded its footprint throughout California, our priority has always been providing superior tire and automotive service to our valued customers. We are pleased to join the Monro family, which shares these core values and is committed to expansion and growth in our geography. I’m thrilled for what the partnership with Monro means for our exceptional employees and am proud to have selected an acquirer that will sustain the level of service that customers have come to expect from Certified Tire.”
Headquartered in Rochester, New York, Monro is a chain of over 1,200 company-operated stores, 98 franchised locations, eight wholesale locations and three retread facilities providing automotive undercar repair and tire sales and services. Monro operates in 30 states, serving the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions and portions of the Great Lakes, Midwest and Southeast and, with this acquisition, California. Monro went public in 1991 and trades on The Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol MNRO.
Brett Ponton, President and Chief Executive Officer of Monro said, “We are thrilled to announce this acquisition, which provides us with a strong platform for further expansion into a dynamic and attractive region. The diversification of our geographic footprint in California represents a key milestone in the execution of our growth strategy, and we look forward to capitalizing on future opportunities in this market. We believe that the continued execution of our Monro. Forward initiatives will position us to more effectively and efficiently integrate this and other acquisitions, creating long-term shareholder value. Importantly, we would like to extend a warm welcome to the Certified Tire team who will be joining Monro.”
Matrix served as exclusive financial advisor to Certified Tire, which included valuation advisory, marketing the business through a confidential, structured sale process, and negotiation of the transaction. The transaction was led by David Shoulders, Managing Director and Head of Matrix’s Consumer & Industrial Products Group, and William O’Flaherty, Vice President. Robbie Nickle, Associate, and John Mosser, Analyst, also advised on the transaction. Regarding Matrix’s services, Mr. Darrow noted, “The team at Matrix has been tremendous throughout this entire process. Their enthusiasm and dedication to finding the best transaction for my family and Certified Tire has been tireless. I would recommend Matrix to anyone and I am incredibly grateful for their efforts.”
Mr. Shoulders added, “We are pleased to have assisted Certified Tire in its sale to Monro. We consider the automotive aftermarket and auto and tire service sectors to be core focuses of our Consumer and Industrial Products Group and we look forward to future opportunities to work with operators in these markets looking to pursue a liquidity event. Our team at Matrix respects Jeff immensely and are fortunate to have developed a very close relationship with the Darrow family. We look forward to staying in touch with Jeff as he pursues other endeavors.”
About Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc.
Founded in 1988, Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc. is an independent, advisory focused, privately-held investment bank headquartered in Richmond, VA, with additional offices in Baltimore, MD, Chicago, IL, and Dallas, TX. Matrix provides merger & acquisition and financial advisory services for privately-held, private-equity owned, and publicly traded companies, including company sales, recapitalizations, corporate carve outs, corporate recovery, management buyouts, capital raises of debt & equity, corporate valuations, fairness opinions and business consulting. Matrix serves clients in a wide range of industries, including downstream energy, convenience retail, industrial products, building products, consumer products and business services. For additional information or to contact our team members, please visit www.matrixcmg.com.
Securities offered by MCMG Capital Advisors, Inc., an affiliate of Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc., Member FINRA & SIPC.