Hogan Tire was sold to Oregon-based Gills Point S Tires earlier this year. Credit: Courtesy of Gills Point S Tires

HOULTON, Maine —  A Maine business run by the same family for nearly 50 years is now owned by an out-of-state company.

Hogan Tire, with locations in Houlton, Presque Isle, Caribou and Lincoln, was sold to Gill’s Point S Tires & Auto of Portland, Oregon, earlier this year.

In a state where nearly 80 percent of the businesses are family owned, the sale of Hogan Tire to Oregon-based Gills Point S Tire and Auto Service is the latest in a trend of Maine’s legacy businesses being sold to larger out-of-state companies. Last year Theriault Equipment in Presque Isle was purchased by United Ag and Turf. Bangor-area companies Dead River and Getchell Brothers Ice were sold to out-of-state interests in December 2021.

Hogan Tire’s previous owners, who are longtime employees, still work for the company under the new ownership.

“There really is no difference. Same name, same faces, ” said former owner Jody Anderson, who is now regional manager for northern Maine. “It’s running the same as before.”

The new owners plan to keep all of Hogan’s 48 employees and all locations open, Anderson said, adding that they would not have sold if that was not the case.

Anderson, 63, and Bill Higgins, 70, bought the company in 2002, and have worked at Hogan Tire for nearly half a century.

The two had been considering selling it for the past year or so, Anderson said.

Like many owners of Maine’s family businesses, Anderson and Higgins were getting older, and they wanted to be sure the Houlton-based company would continue beyond them and that their 48 employees would be secure if they retired.

“This was an opportunity with a really good company,” Anderson said. “Now our employees will have jobs for the next 25 years, and they have a better benefits package because it is a bigger company.”

Justin Hogan founded the company in 1956 and his sons, Galen and Cork Hogan, ran the business. Hogan Tire sells tires, heavy-duty truck parts and provides auto service to Aroostook County’s five locations.

Similar to Hogan Tire, new owner Gills Point S is family owned. Founded in 1984, the company has locations in Oregon, Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and now Maine. The family ownership is why Anderson and Higgins decided to go with the company, Anderson said.

“We wanted to find a company with our philosophy of caring about the employees and the customers,” he said.

Last year, Hogan Tire hired New Hampshire-based Atlantic Management to find a new owner.

Higgins will retire in June, but Anderson is not yet ready to retire. Still, he is glad the company will be taken care of when he makes that decision.

Kathleen Phalen Tomaselli is a reporter covering the Houlton area. Over the years, she has covered crime, investigations, health, politics and local government, writing for the Washington Post, the LA...