Lex Brodie's being sold to mainland investor, employee group
A number of workers at the company will become part owners
A senior manager who started pumping gas for Lex Brodie's as a homeless teenager will assume an ownership stake in Lex Brodie's Tire Co. as part of a deal to sell the company to a mainland investor and an employee investor group.
The sale of Lex Brodie's by Finova Hawaiian Holdings LLC will not affect Lex Brodie's day-to-day operations, said Scott Williams, the company's general manager who will be a minority investor in the company. In fact, Williams said, the deal will enable several employees to take an ownership stake in the local institution.
"It's a great opportunity," Williams said.
Bob Harden, an Arizona investor who is leading the new ownership group, did not return calls. Williams said both the buyer and seller were prohibited by a confidentiality agreement from commenting about the pending deal. The transaction is scheduled to close near the end of next month, according to a statement filed with the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
Lex Brodie's has had a series of owners since the company's well-known founder quietly sold the company in 1990. By 2002, the Lex Brodie's then-owner, Tennessee tire magnate John Mayo, was facing financial troubles and Lex Brodie's was bought out of foreclosure by Finova.
Although Williams said Lex Brodie's has been able to achieve high customer-satisfaction ratings while producing a healthy profit for investors, he said that Finova's investors, which include Berkshire Hathaway Inc., had simply decided to sell off the business.
Williams said that Harden's group was one of several that bid for the company. Williams said he was pleased with the outcome.
"If I had to choose which investor group would get the assets, it would be them," he said.