FTM Tyrefit's parent company, Shipley-based Montinex, the largest independent fast-fit tyre chain in the UK, was placed in administrative receivership after it was unable to repay mounting debts.
FTM Tyrefit continues to trade as normal because it had a separate line of finance. However other subsidiaries, including Charlie Browns, Chessington Tyres, Imaco International, trading as Northway Tyres and Exhaust Despatch, trading as Malvern Tyres, have been placed in receivership and put up for sale by receivers Ernst & Young. The four businesses in receivership have a joint turnover of more than £75 million and employ nearly 800 staff.
The news is set to spark a bidding war for FTM Tyrefit, which is the third largest behind Kwik-Fit and ATS and could provide a dominant position in the market to the successful purchaser. Dominic Bateson, managing director of FTM Tyrefit, which employs about 70 people, said: 'There have been a surprisingly high number of enquiries, particularly from our competitors.'