The stores in Les Schwab country have a new owner.
The Oregonian reports Meritage Group, a California-based investment fund made a deal to buy the tire retailer. Meritage, which is pronounced like heritage, is controlled by founder Nat Simmons. Simmons is a prominent climate change activist, according to the Oregonian.
Meritage controls more than $10 billion in investments, including Google, Microsoft, Salesforce and the company that owns Burger King.
Les Schwab dates to 1952 with a store in Prineville, OR. It steadily expanded over the years to more than 500 stores across the west with more than 7,000 employees. It often focuses on smaller towns and reaches deep into Idaho’s communities.
Company founder and namesake Les Schwab died in 2007. His widow passed away in 2016. His heirs later decided to sell the comapny and earlier reporting indicated they hoped to fetch $3 billion from the sale. Meritage didn’t detail the terms of the sale with Schwab.
“As our family grows and ages, it has been very important to us to remain committed and aligned behind our grandfather’s vision,” the Schwab family said in a release. “While it was hard to make the decision to sell the Company, we are very confident Meritage Group will continue that commitment and alignment, and will build on all we have accomplished over the past 68 years.”
“We see Les Schwab Tires as an ideal investment,” Meritage’s Aubrey Barth wrote in a statement. “The company’s exceptional employees and programs, strong financials, and respected, customer-focused brand set it up for success for years to come.”
Meritage said the current Les Schwab leadership team will remain in place, but didn’t otherwise detail its plans for the stores.