Liberty Tire Recycling Acquires Lakin Tire

“This is big,” tire and rubber recyclers and others in the industry said in response to a March 16 press release announcing the merger of Liberty Tire Recycling and Lakin Tire.

Combined, the two companies collect over 180 million tires per year and recycle approximately 2.6 billion pounds of rubber into innovative, sustainable products.

CM Shredders

Pittsburgh, PA-based Liberty Tire collects and recycles over 140 million tires annually at 26 facilities throughout the U.S. The recycled rubber produced by Liberty is used as crumb rubber and industrial feedstock for molded products; as tire-derived fuel for industrial kilns, mills and power plants; and as rubber mulch for landscaping and playgrounds.

Lakin, headquartered in Santa Fe Springs, California has operations in the Western United States and the Northeast. Regarded as one of the most established and technologically advanced tire removal and recycling companies in the U.S., Lakin collects and recycles 40 million tires a year from more than 6,500 retail tire customers.

“Uniting the tire collection and recycling operations of these two companies creates a new national footprint,” Thomas Womble, CEO of Liberty Tire said. The merger will unite two complementary businesses, which share a focus on safety, service, quality and innovation, in order to leverage their respective strengths, share best practices and expand their combined geographic reach, the companies said.

Womble, CEO of Liberty Tire, will continue to lead the combined business, while key leaders of Lakin, including Bob Lakin and Sean Lakin, will take on expanded roles within Liberty to drive continued world-class customer service. Bob Lakin will maintain an equity ownership stake in Liberty.

“Similar to Liberty, Lakin has a long heritage of providing outstanding customer service and has a deep commitment to sustainability,” Womble said. “Lakin’s culture of service and sustainability is a great match for Liberty’s innovative tire processing and recycling capabilities, which will enable the combined company to drive increased sustainable reuse of scrap tires.”

“From the time my great-grandfather started Lakin Tire over 100 years ago, we’ve provided best-in-class customer service with environmentally friendly tire recycling solutions,” said Bob Lakin, who will become Executive Director at Liberty Tire. “Partnering with Liberty is an exciting step in the growth trajectory of our company. Their innovative technology will allow us to deliver our solutions to even more customers nationwide. I am excited to be an equity owner of the combined business.”

Equity for the investment came from Carlyle Strategic Partners IV and a key group of co-investors in Liberty.

Liberty Response to Covid-19

We Care, We’re Prepared and We Are Operating With No Disruptions…. is the message Liberty Tire sent to its customers in a March 18 letter. To assure the well-being and safety of its employees, Liberty has:

• implemented CDC and WHO guidelines for facility cleanliness and hygiene at all its facilities;

• provided social distancing guidelines;

• put a policy in place for employees who may experience symptoms.

For collection services, Liberty is working with customers to assure safe, timely pickups as needed.

Liberty said it remains optimistic that it can continue to deliver product orders on time barring any disruptions in the freight industry.

© Scrap Tire News, April 2020