The Ronal Group has announced its acquisition of Italian firm APP-Tech Srl at the end of last year and says this will help it meet growing customer demand for forged wheels. APP-Tech specialises in these products and sells the rims manufactured at its plant near Padua in northern Italy to vehicle manufacturers, high end aftermarket suppliers and motorsport teams. The company will continue to operate on an independent basis under the management of Francesca De Boni, and all APP-Tech staff will remain in employment.
Final bids to acquire a 42.01 per cent shareholding in Kumho Tire are in, and Credit Cuisse, who has managed the deal, has requested additional time in order to review the bidders’ documents. Pulse, Maeil Business Newspaper’s English-language website, posits that the preferred bidder will be picked between 16 and 18 January, and the terms then sent to Kumho Asiana chairman Park Sam-koo.
A final round of bids for the 42.01 per cent controlling stake in Kumho Tire will be held on 12 January, and according to the Korea Development Bank and other creditors, a shortlist of five preferred bidders are in the running to acquire this share should chairman Park Sam-koo decline a prior offer to match the highest bid and purchase the 42.01 per cent stake himself. The five contenders are Apollo Tyres, Shanghai Aerospace Industry Corp. (SAIC), Jiangsu GPRO Group, Shandong Linglong Tire and Doublestar Tyre.
New year. New diary. New balance sheet. New company? In this respect, 2016 got off to a flying start. No sooner had the year begun than we received news of some high profile, three-digit-million pound mergers and acquisitions. The first and the largest was the acquisition of well-known garage data supplier Autodata (see page 32, Company New section for complete details). However, within 24 hours this was followed by the potentially UK tyre wholesale and retail-changing announcement that Sumitomo Rubber Industries had acquired Micheldever Tyre Services.
Last year’s acquisition of Alliance Tire Group by Yokohama Rubber has now been followed up by the purchase of a further off-road tyre specialist. An agreement was reached today on Yokohama Rubber’s planned acquisition of Aichi Tire Industry Co., Ltd. Shareholders of the Japanese industrial tyre manufacturer have consented to Yokohama Rubber’s purchase of all shares for an undisclosed sum, and Yokohama plans to complete the acquisition by March 2017. After this date, Aichi Tire will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yokohama Rubber.
Following the news Autodata was sold yesterday, it has emerged that Solera Holdings paid some £340 million. Autodata originally sold for £143 million in May 2014 when the founders sold the business to Bowmark and Five Arrow Principal Investments. Therefore the price Solera paid represents a 137 per cent increase in Autodata’s valuation.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries’ (SRI) £215 million acquisition of the Micheldever Group from Graphite Capital, including Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS), the UK’s second largest distributor of tyres, “ensures continuity” of the management and multi-segment brand strategy, according to MTS chief executive Duncan Wilkes. The move also extends the trend of tyre manufacturers buying into – or indeed buying back into – retail through the acquisition of the UK’s largest chains. In April 2016, Tyres & Accessories pointed out that Micheldever’s Protyre chain was the largest growing in the annual survey of the market’s retail landscape – a factor that will have informed the purchase – and three of the top five (Michelin’s ATS Euromaster and Goodyear Dunlop’s HiQ franchise chain) are now manufacturer controlled.
Japan’s Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. has announced its intended acquisition of Micheldever Group Ltd. from Graphite Capital Management LLP. for an enterprise value of £215 million. The tyre maker states its decision to purchase Micheldever is closely linked to the aim of strengthening the market position of its Falken tyre brand in the UK.
Solera Holdings, Inc. has agreed to acquire Autodata, a provider of technical information and knowledge solutions for the automotive service, maintenance and repair industry. “Throughout a car’s life, there are over 54 transactions that occur between motorists and automotive businesses,” said Tony Aquila, Solera’s founder, chairman and CEO. “One of Solera’s missions is to digitize the vehicle ownership ecosystem by developing cognitive applications that not only power connectivity and engagement, but also proliferate awareness and transparency across the entire automotive lifecycle.”
On 27 December, Japan’s Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. entered into an agreement with UK-based sporting goods retailer Sports Direct International plc to acquire the international trademark rights for the Dunlop brand and the brand’s sporting goods and licencing businesses. The transaction carries a purchase price of US$137.5 million.
Magna Tyres Group has acquired OBO Tyres, the largest tyre retreader in the Netherlands. Founded in 1959, the company has specialized in producing retreaded tyres for the agricultural and OTR market and additional tyre repair services. Recently the company received exclusive distribution rights of the Magna agricultural, and MTP OTR tyres, which allowed the company to offer qualitative and cost effective new tyre solutions to the Benelux tyre market.
The acquisition of a new business will see Evonik Industries AG extend its silica activities beyond tyres and other industrial applications. Evonik has acquired the silica business of US-based firm J.M. Huber for $630 million, a deal it says will enable Evonik to “expand its position in North America and Asia in this profitable and resilient business.”
Cooper Tire & Rubber has completed its purchase of a 65 per cent interest in China-based Qingdao Ge Rui Da Rubber Co., Ltd. (GRT). GRT produces truck and bus radial tyres for global markets and will manufacture these to meet Cooper’s customer needs in North America, as well as in Asia and other markets. In the future, passenger car tyres may also be manufactured at the one-million-square-foot GRT facility, which has room for further expansion.
The Shanghai Aerospace Industry Co., or SAIC, is said to have submitted the highest bid for Kumho Tire in the preliminary auction. According to Maeil Business News Korea’s Pulse website, the value of the SAIC bid hasn’t been disclosed, however “market experts” recently estimated that bidding for Kumho Tire could reach as high as KRW 1 trillion (£685.8 million).
Swedish firm Trelleborg AB, parent company of the Trelleborg Wheel Systems tyre business, has finalised the acquisition of a US-based subsidiary of CoorsTek, Inc. The purchased business specialises in the manufacturing of precision seals for the aerospace industry, and Trelleborg anticipates that the new acquisition will further strengthen its presence in North America and in sealing solutions for major aircraft programmes. The transaction will be consolidated as of 21 November 2016.