By LOU WILIN
Hercules Tire & Rubber Co., headquartered in Findlay, has been bought by American Tire Distributors, an independent replacement tire supplier based in Huntersville, N.C., for $310 to $320 million.
Hercules is a marketer of replacement tires in the U.S., Canada and globally. The tires are made by a worldwide network of suppliers, including Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.
Hercules was founded in 1952 by a group of New England retreaders and moved to Findlay in the mid-1960s. It has been owned since 2005 by FdG Associates, a New York City-based private equity firm.
Between its headquarters at 16380 U.S. 224, and warehouse at 14801 Marion Township 212, Hercules employs 84 in Findlay. Sixty of the workers are employed at the headquarters.
American Tire Distributors has not decided yet if it has any changes in store for Hercules and its Findlay operations. That will be studied for months, said Ron Sinclair, senior vice president of marketing for American Tire Distributors.
Hercules offers passenger, light truck, medium truck, trailer, off-the-road, industrial and specialty tires under the Hercules name. It also distributes more than 20 other tire brands.
“We’re really excited about joining forces with Hercules,” Sinclair said.
“Hercules is a well-run company with an outstanding reputation in the industry,” said William Berry, chief executive officer of American Tire Distributors.
Besides those considerations, American Tire was drawn to Hercules’ strength with its own and other private brands, Sinclair said. It will add to American Tire Distributors’ existing strength with major national brands like Michelin, Goodyear and Bridgestone, he said.
With private brands, a company wields more control as to how it sells the product, where it sells it and to whom, Sinclair said.
Companywide, Hercules employs 484 with seven warehouses in Canada, one in China and 13 in the United States. Its tires are sold in more than 75 countries.
American Tire Distributors has 130 warehouses, including 22 in Canada. It employs about 3,400 workers. It is owned by private equity firm TPG Capital, based in Fort Worth, Texas.