LEWISTON — A Missouri-based company is buying VIP Parts, Tires & Service’s parts business with plans to operate inside existing VIP stores.

O’Reilly Automotive spokesman Mark Merz said that company already has branches in 39 states but none in New England. Its purchase agreement with VIP is expected to close by Dec. 31.

Current parts employees will become O’Reilly employees. No layoffs are planned. Merz said it was too soon to comment on hiring.

VIP will continue to offer tire sales and service. It’s an unusual arrangement for O’Reilly, Merz said, but one the company is looking forward to.

O’Reilly, a publically traded company, has 3,896 stores. VIP, privately held, has 56 in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

“We’ve acquired a great team and we’re anxious to get in there and get the stores rebranded to O’Reilly (Auto Parts) and get our inventory in there and start serving New Englanders,” Merz said.

New signs will appear sometime next year. He said to expect a wider parts selection.

Officials at VIP were in a meeting late Tuesday and couldn’t be reached for comment.

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