HANOVER, Germany (Jan. 9)—Continental A.G. has sold its National Tyre Service retail chain and Viking International wholesale company to a financial holding company headed by NTS CEO Alan Revie. The sale price was not disclosed, but Continental told analysts late last year it would take a charge against earnings of about $27 million to cover losses on the disposal. NTS operates 214 branches throughout the United Kingdom and reported sales of nearly $170 million last year. Conti bought NTS from Michelin Tyres U.K. in 1991 after Michelin had acquired it from BTR P.L.C., which had "inherited" it in the breakup of Dunlop Holdings Ltd. The chain was more than $50 million in the red in fiscal 2000 and 1999, according to Conti financial reports. Conti said it expects to "maintain and expand" its market share in Great Britain through a long-term supply agreement with Axle Group, the new owner. Viking operates 10 distribution centers for tires and automotive parts.