Halfords has bought Kent-based Universal Tyre and Autocentres in a deal worth £15m.
The firm snapped up the car and tractor tyre changing specialist which has 20 sites across the South East and runs 89 response vans.
Last year the business generated £31m revenue, while its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) was around £1.5m.
Chief executive Graham Stapleton said: ‘We have a clearly stated strategy of building a market-leading motoring services offer, and the acquisition of Universal is another important step forward in helping us to achieve that goal.
‘We continue to see strong demand for our autocentres, for our expanding fleet of Halfords mobile expert vans, and for our growing commercial business.
‘Universal will help us to meet that demand whilst also expanding our geographic footprint in a market for which we see significant potential.’
Halfords runs 404 retail stores which have been open for much of the pandemic as they operate as parts businesses for cars and as bicycle repair centres.
Halfords said that £9m of the money it paid for Universal was to cover the cost of the firm’s property, land and its cash.
Halfords will now try and sell the property and lease it back instead.
Universal specialises in tyre services, including for agricultural vehicles, commercial vehicles and cars.
It also offers general car maintenance – repairing brakes, performing servicing and MOTs.
Halfords said it would be able to achieve ‘synergies’ through the acquisition, which also helps it towards the target of running 550 garages across the UK.
Halfords now has 374 garages and 321 repair vans in its autocentres division following the purchase.
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