Yokohama has denied press reports that it is aiming to buy a majority of Alliance Tire Group (ATG). Acquisition talk had suggested private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) was in talks to sell what would amount to a majority shareholding of its stake in ATG (the firm is currently 90 per cent shareholder) to Yokohama.
However, when Tyres & Accessories contacted Yokohama about the reports, a spokesperson said: “The reports are not based on any official announcement. We are always considering possibilities to grow our tyre business. However to date we have not decided anything on any new acquisition.”
Nevertheless, Yokohama’s statement does not clearly rule out ATG takeover talks between the Japanese manufacturer and KKR. Instead it simply questions whether the rumours are in any way “official”.
At the same time the statement confirms that Yokohama is “always considering” acquisition options. On the one hand, this could suggest that there is no smoke without fire and the initial reports are at least partly right. But on the other hand, the fact the firm says “we have not decided anything” could also mean that this is the last we will hear about this deal…for now at least.