Les Schwab Tire Centers reached a deal to sell the company to an investment fund in California, ending local family ownership of one of Oregon’s best-known businesses. The tire dealer originally announced its plans to sell the company in December of 2019.
Bend, Ore.-based Schwab Tire announced plans to sell the 68-year-old business in December, citing the difficulties of running a business in its fifth generation of family ownership.
Les Schwab started the business in his hometown of Prineville, Ore., in 1952 and grew it into one of Oregon’s largest companies with 492 stores in 10 states, more than 7,000 employees, and $1.8 billion annual revenue.
In 2006, before founder Les Schwab died, the Oregonian reported that Schwab had previously met with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Francois Michelin about potential buyouts, but declined to sell his company. In June, the company put its sale process on pause and recently announced the deal to sell.