Bridgestone buys Pep Boy’s

Steve’s breakdown: New owners usually means a new ad agency. Chick into Pep Boy’s as soon as the paperwork is dry on this acquisition.

PHILADELPHIA, PA: The loyalty may not be quite as fierce as Chevy, Ford, or Ram, but automotive DIY-ers have their own loyalties when it comes to parts and accessories stores such as O’Reilly, NAPA, and Pep Boys. The latter, an icon in the industry since its founding in 1921, is being acquired by Japanese tire giant Bridgestone for $835 million, in an all-cash transaction for $15 per share of Pep Boys (PBY). This will expand Bridgestone’s retail footprint even beyond its existing 2,200 tire and service centers, as well as its 5,000 independent dealers and distributors. Philadelphia-based Pep Boys adds an additional 800 locations in 35 states with more than 7,500 service bays.

It’s unknown whether the Pep Boys’ “Manny, Moe & Jack” branding will be retained or if all Pep Boys will be rebranded to Firestone Complete Auto Care, Tires Plus, or another one of Bridgestone’s service brands. Also unknown is if Pep Boys will continue to offer a wide selection of other tire manufacturers’ products or exclusively sell Bridgestone products, which include the Firestone, Fuzion, Dueler and Potenza brands. Firestone itself was acquired by Bridgestone in 1988. The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2016.

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