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Expansion for tyre firm

Welch to take Blackcircles into Asia-Pacific

Mike Welch 2

Mike Welch is taking his online tyre-fitting business into the Asia Pacific region, in its biggest foray overseas since its acquisition by Michelin.

He is looking at Singapore, Thailand and New Zealand as part of global expansion plans drawn up under the French giant which bought the Borders business for £50 million two years ago.

“Part of the reason we sold the company to Michelin was because our objective over the coming ten years or so was to establish it globally,” he said in an interview.

“I was initially planning to do that with private equity money, but Michelin came along and said they could give us the investment as well as a platform to expand.

“Since they bought us we’ve working on how we internationalise.”

In the past two years Michelin has helped finance a doubling of the Peebles-based Blackcircles’ chain to 2,500 across the UK.

Welch, speaking to The Scotsman, said: “It’s early days, but the first phase is to go out to Asia to look at how we can develop the Blackcircles proposition over there.

“The timeframe from our visit in early March to actually seeing a Blackcircles in another geography will be about 12 months.”

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