Editor's note: Video is from 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Les Schwab Tires, whose corporate headquarters are in Central Oregon, has announced plans to sell the family-owned business.

Bloomberg first reported the development Tuesday morning and said the company could be sold for as much as $3 billion. 

A news release from the company confirmed it is looking for new ownership.

“We believe this is the best way to honor Les’ vision for the company and stores and support growth and innovation," CEO Jack Cuniff said in the release.

The company said the sales process is expected to take several months. It has hired Goldman Sachs to help with finding a buyer.

The move marks a big change for the tire empire as ownership has stayed within the family of founder Les Schwab, who died in 2007, through its decades of success. The company started up in Prineville in 1952 has grown to nearly 500 locations in 10 states. Its corporate headquarters are now in Bend.

The Schwab family shareholders put out a joint statement on Tuesday:

“Given the complexities of a fifth-generation family business, and managing a company of our size, we are at an important point in the life of Les Schwab Tire Centers. As our family grows and ages, it is increasingly critical to us that ownership remain committed and aligned behind our Grandfather’s vision.

“After careful review and a lot of consideration, we concluded a new ownership group will help ensure future opportunity for our wonderful employees and secure continued success for the company as it grows. We believe a new owner – one with deep experience and resources – will carry forward the Les Schwab vision far into the future.

“Our incredible Tire Centers, and the company and communities we have built together, make us proud. As hard as it is to make the decision to sell this company, we are confident it will offer tremendous opportunity to build on all we have accomplished together for our customers, communities and our employees. We are excited to see what the future will bring.”

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