Speaking off the record, Chinese executives within Qingdao Doublestar have confirmed the company’s intentions to purchase well-known South Korean tyre manufacturer Kumho Tyre and that it is “now only Doublestar left to buy Kumho”. However, at roughly the same time, Korean newspapers have been reporting that Doublestar probably won’t have the right to use the Kumho brand name post-acquisition. With all this in mind, Tyres & Accessories summaries the story so far.
The latest development in the negotiations to sell a stake in Kumho Tire is that potential buyer Qingdao Doublestar Tire probably won’t, after handing over KRW 955 billion (£653.6 million) for the 42.01 per cent controlling share, be permitted to use the Kumho name.
The Kal Tire Mining Tire Group has acquired the South African operations of Tyre Corporation. It is hoped that the transaction, which took place for an undisclosed sum, will enable the growth achieved by Tyre Corporation in South Africa over the past decade to continue. It also gives Tyre Corporation’s customers access to Kal Tire services such as its exclusive Ultra Repair process for ultra-class tyres.
Park Sam-koo won’t exercise his right of first refusal to acquire a stake in Kumho Tire. The Kumho Asiana Group chairman has described the Korea Development Bank’s decision to prevent him from funding the acquisition through formation of a consortium as “unfair,” and as a result Kumho Asiana has opted against participating in the sale of the 42.01 per cent shareholding.
On 13 April TP Industrial Holding – a company controlled by CNRC (the tyre division of ChemChina) – confirmed that agreements have been signed with CNRC, Aeolus and High Grade (HK) Investment Management Limited for the full integration of its controlled Industrial activities with the other assets of the sector belonging to CNRC, including Aeolus and Guilin Beili. The formal finalization of this integration is expected by the end of the year, subject to the approval by the relevant authorities, with the contribution into Aeolus of the 52 per cent stake held in Prometeon Tyre Group (formerly Pirelli Industrial).
While spent revellers slept or nursed New Year’s hangovers and the well-meaning scribbled out resolutions they’d struggle to keep for a week, let alone a year, on 1 January Obo Tyres began something more significant. The first day of 2017 was also the Dutch retreader’s first as member of the Magna Tyres Group. The acquisition of Obo was announced shortly before the festive season got under way, and the new arrangement enables Magna, a specialist in the field of new off-highway and truck tyres, to offer its range as a full lifecycle portfolio. The benefit to Obo Tyres is measurable in terms of access to new markets, improved casing supply and the opportunity to develop new and qualitatively superior products.
Park Sam-koo says he won’t acquire a controlling stake in Kumho Tire from creditors unless they provide a definitive answer on specific conditions of sale. In a statement, Kumho Asiana has given the Korea Development Bank until 17 April to do this, otherwise it will not exercise its right of first refusal.
In parallel with presenting its full-year 2016 results, Pirelli has revealed further details of its complex ownership structure and how it is splitting its consumer and industrial tyre business into two separate entities. The latest news is that, as of March 2017, TP Industrial holding (which owns the newly renamed PTG, which was called Pirelli industrial until recently – more on that later) has been separated out from Pirelli’s consumer tyre business. In practice this means the assignment of TP Industrial holding to Marco Polo, Pirelli’s sole shareholder. According to Pirelli, the assignment will “ensure that Pirelli and TP Industrial can pursue their own independent paths to growth and independently developed strategies”.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. (SRI) has completed the process of acquiring the Dunlop brand business of the UK based Sports Direct International plc (SDI). As announced on 27 December 2016, SRI reached an agreement with SDI to acquire their trademark rights to the Dunlop brand in various countries and territories, as well as SDI's Dunlop sporting goods and licensing business, for the purchase price of US$137.5 million. The transaction was finalised on 3 April 2017.
Euro Car Parts has acquired the business of Team P R Reilly, a family-owned, automotive parts, accessories and bodyshop business based out of Dublin, Ireland, and that of paint and collision repair supply specialist Karkraft (N.I.) Limited of Belfast. The agreement expands Euro Car Parts’ operations across Ireland, with a key focus on enhancing product availability, further improving delivery times and expanding into new market sectors.
Just three days after buying Trelleborg’s Czech compounding operation, on 3 April Hexpol announced it has signed an agreement to acquire the business of Valley Processing from Ted Ballou and his family. The acquisition price amounts to approximately US$44 million on a cash and debt free basis. There will also be an additional product transfer fee, which will be paid later.
Hexpol has today acquired 100 per cent of Trelleborg Material & Mixing Lesina s.r.o from the Trelleborg Group. The divested operation develops, produces and supplies polymer compounds. The majority of its sales are to external customers and a minor share to a small number of Trelleborg facilities in Europe.
First ChemChina sent shockwaves through the tyre market by successfully purchasing Pirelli in 2015. This year another Chinese firm – this time tyremaker Qingdao Doublestar – made waves by offering an US$830 million bid for 42 per cent Kumho Tire in mid-March. The obvious question is what is the next tyre-related investment to come out of China?
Chem-Trend, the release agent manufacturer, has acquired the release agent business of its long-time distribution partner in Romania, Rubio Trading & Consulting SRL. As part of a planned growth strategy in Eastern Europe, Chem-Trend Romania SRL has been established through the acquisition. Chem-Trend Romania will continue to support the local market in the existing industries of polyurethane and rubber moulding, thermoplastics processing, die casting and tyre manufacturing.
Sumitomo Rubber USA has bought 6.4 acres of brownfield land adjacent to its tyre manufacturing site in Tonawanda. According to the New York State-based Buffalo News, Sumitomo’s new land used to be home to a chemical plant that was destroyed by a fire nearly 30 years ago.