Top 10 news articles of the past week
The company supplying as many as a fifth of all car tyres fitted to new vehicles manufactured and sold in China is preparing for the European launch of its flagship brand, and has its sights on both the original equipment and replacement markets in our region. With its new, designed-for-Europe Giti range, Giti Tire aims to become “an established original equipment supplier and recognised technology partner in Europe.” Three product lines will be introduced into a key initial market in the coming months ahead of a wider European rollout.
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.
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.
The leading Taiwanese tyre manufactures are reportedly planning to raise prices by between 8-12 per cent during 2017. According to local news reports, the price hike is a reaction to the jump in synthetic rubber and natural rubber prices.
Using information received from industry sources, the Yonhap News Agency reported today that Kumho Tire’s creditors are expected to select Doublestar Tyre as the preferred bidder for the 42.01 per cent share in the Korean tyre maker. Yonhap wrote that Doublestar “received the highest score in the evaluation of price offer and other terms” in the round of bidding that closed last week. Doublestar is said to have submitted a bid of around Krw 1 trillion (£692.9 million).
Continental Tyre Group has announced that Tom Whittaker passed away on 19 December 2016.
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.
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.
No less than 15 tyres took part in the 2015 summer tyre test carried out by Finnish trade publication Tekniikan Maailma (World of Technology). Size 205/55 R 16 tyres from premium, mid-range and budget manufacturers were fitted to a VW Golf and evaluated by specialists from Test World in Ivalo, Finland and ranked according to performance in a series of wet and dry tests. Continental’s ContiPremiumContact 5 topped the table with a score of 9.5 out of 10 and a rating of five out five stars, however an entry from another premium manufacturer didn’t fare so well.
Around €150,000 (£131,000) is being invested in STARCO’s tyre and wheel production facility in Crewe as part of a €2.5 million project to strengthen manufacturing capabilities in Europe. The Danish company’s site in the UK will receive new equipment that will automate the polymer wheel and puncture-proof polyurethane tyre production that takes place there. A STARCO representative told Tyrepress.com the installation of this new machinery will lift capacity and will also facilitate the development of new designs that ensure the plant’s continued competitiveness.