NORTHERN Ireland's biggest independent tyre shop has announced a major expansion following a £1m cash injection.
Family-run Modern Tyre Services (MTS) now runs 40 retail fast-fit centres across Ireland after buying 11 outlets from Cork-based company, Hanover Tyres.
MTS, which now employs 200 people, also bought two ATS outlets in Belfast and one in Lisburn at the end of last year.
The business was founded by Jimmy Byrne in 1965, and his daughter and four sons all work in the company. As well as its retail sites – there are 26 in Northern Ireland – the company also owns tyre wholesale company D26.
First Trust Bank has funded the company's latest investment.
Mr Byrne said the acquisition from Hanover Tyres was a "perfect fit". He explained: "We have always been an ambitious organisation and have strengthened our offering over the years, seeking the right opportunities to expand and widen our reach.
"Having grown successfully across Northern Ireland with Modern Tyres, we had set our sights on establishing a foothold in the Republic of Ireland through our sister company D26 Tires."
He added that the company enjoyed a "strong working relationship" with First Trust.
The bank's Larry Murphy said: "We believe this latest investment represents the next significant chapter in the company's history and we are delighted to be able to support them once again."
The company made its first big acquisition with Ards Tyre Service in 1995, before buying the Northern Ireland arm of UK giant Motorway Tyre & Exhaust centres in 2002.