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Coronavirus disrupts Oregon-based Les Schwab Tire’s plans to sell

Les Schwab Tire had announced plans to sell the 68-year-old business in December, though the pandemic has now made selling the company difficult

Prineville, Ore.—The December 2019 decision to sell Les Schwab Tire has been placed on hold. Company representatives reported the chain decided to suspend the sale due to travel restrictions related to Covid-19 and difficulty for prospective buyers to evaluate the business.

In an email statement on Tuesday to The Oregonian, the Bend-based company said it believes new ownership remains the “best way to support growth and innovation, and all the opportunities those create for our employees and communities.” The news was first reported by Tire Business on Monday.

Les Schwab Tire has nearly 500 locations, spanning across Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Nearly 70 years after Les Schwab founded the company, its board and shareholders began to seek new ownership in December 2019.

Company founder Les Schwab, his wife and both his children have died. The business is now owned by his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, none of whom have an active role running the company.

“Our incredible Tire Centers, and the company and communities we have built together, make us proud,” the Schwab family said in a statement on the company website upon announcement of the sale last year. “As hard as it is to make the decision to sell this company, we are confident it will offer tremendous opportunity to build on all we have accomplished together for our customers, communities and our employees. We are excited to see what the future will bring.”

Les Schwab received the highest score for aftermarket tire replacement and general maintenance (tie) in the J.D. Power 2019 Aftermarket Service Index (ASI) Satisfaction Study of customer satisfaction with automotive aftermarket service providers.

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