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Michelin acquires Blackcircles.com for £50m

Founded in Edinburgh by Mike Welch, Blackcircles.com has seen growth of around 20% per annum since 2008, in particular thanks to its "Click & Fit" formula, which includes the sale of the product and the service. Its growth was reinforced in the first quarter of 2015, with growth up 34% compared to Q1 2014, and the firm also generated £28m in revenue in 2013.

The company said its strong development is likely to continue apace in the years to come, mainly due to the boom in e-business in the UK and the expected consolidation of the leadership position already held by Blackcircles.com.

"I'm delighted to have found in Michelin a partner who shares our passion for customer service, innovation and technology," said Mike Welch. "The strength of the Michelin Group will allow us to underpin the multi-brand offering that we deploy in each garage, on every street corner. I am convinced that our teams, our customers, our garages and our suppliers will rapidly start to see the benefits of this partnership."

Michelin said the acquisition of Blackcircles.com will enable it to improve the performance of its mix of distribution channels in the United Kingdom, and in particular to develop synergies with its traditional distributor, ATS Euromaster.

The latest deal follows the acquisition in mid-April of a 40% stake in Allopneus, a leading French online tyre sales company.

Jean-Dominique Senard, chief executive of the Michelin Group, commented: "Our strategy illustrates our ambition: to be ever more innovative, efficient and proactive for our customers by offering them products and services suited to individual needs, and by simplifying the entire purchase process, from choosing their tyres to having them fitted by professionals.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.