Peebles-based online tyre fitters Blackcircles has sold to French giants Michelin Tyres in a £50million deal.
Its acquisition was confirmed by Blackcircles founder Mike Welch, who will secure a multi-million payout from the deal.
He commented: “We have spent some time considering our options for positioning Blackcircles.com for the next phase of growth. In Michelin we have found a partner who shares our passion for customer service, innovation and technology.
“Strategically, it’s business as usual for Blackcircles.com. I expect our team, customers, garages and suppliers to see significant benefits quite quickly.”
He added: “My vision for Blackcircles.com has always been to create a lasting brand that changes the way people buy tyres. With Michelin I see that vision being realised a lot sooner and on a global stage, which is a very exciting prospect.”
The deal also puts cash in the pocket of former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy, a major shareholder in Blackcircles.
Blackcircles’ revenue was around £27.8million in 2013 – up 20 per cent on the previous year – and in the first three months of this year it rose by 34 per cent.