Sears, Roebuck and Co. today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its National Tire & Battery (NTB) business to TBC Corporation for $260 million. Sears expects to recognize a pretax gain in the range of $50 million to $100 million on the deal.

"This transaction is a further refinement of Sears' focus on our core business strategy," said Alan J. Lacy, Sears chairman and chief executive officer. "We believe this sale is in the best interests of Sears and its customers. National Tire & Battery will benefit from being a part of the broader 900-store TBC network."

TBC calls itself the "industry's premier private brand tire marketer." Its brands include Carroll Tire Co., with a network of 5,000 retailers in the Southeast; Big O Tires, with 450 stores in 19 states; Tire Kingdom, with 150 stores in the Southeast; Northern States Tire, a wholesaler in the Northeast; TBC de Mexico; and Superior Tire, a Las Vegas-area retailer.

Most of NTB's 3,500 employees of NTB will become employees of TBC. National Tire & Battery operates 226 locations nationwide and currently generates annual revenues of about $425 million.