PITTSBURGH—Liberty Tire Recycling's acquisition of Lakin Tire represents "a perfect opportunity" to combine and leverage the strengths of both organizations, according to Liberty CEO Thomas Womble.
"Our customers are very clear in their expectations," said Womble, discussing the rationale behind the acquisition, which was disclosed March 16. "They expect good service from a reliable company, with constantly improving inboard service and outboard use of tires.
"Lakin has very robust routing and route optimization," he said. "Combined with our strengths in manufacturing and distribution, and the Carlyle Group's financial support, this was a clear opportunity."
The acquisition also will give both companies a nationwide profile, according to Womble.
Lakin is one of the most established and technologically advanced tire removal and recycling services in the U.S., with operations in the Western and Northeastern U.S., Liberty said in a news release announcing the acquisition.
Together, Liberty and Lakin collect more than 180 million tires and recycle about 2.6 billion pounds of rubber annually into innovative and sustainable products, according to Liberty. The combined companies have more than 2,500 employees, Womble said.
Lakin will continue to operate under its own name for the time being. "There is no timetable for changing the name," he said.
Lakin executives, including Bob and Sean Lakin, will have expanded roles in the combined company, according to the news release.
Expanding on this, Womble said Bob Lakin will be executive director and an equity partner of Liberty.
"He will focus on assisting me and the board on strategic planning," Womble said. "I view Bob as a partner in this venture."
While there are no specific new technologies that will arise from the acquisition, the combined companies will continue to explore all feasible opportunities in recycling technology, according to Womble.
"We both have long-term relationships with companies on the cutting edge," he said.
Womble declined to disclose the acquisition cost.