ChemChina front-runner to buy Pirelli

News agencies are reporting China National Chemical Corporation, which names brands such as Aeolus amongst its number, is close to purchasing shares in Camfin, which own 26 per cent of Pirelli and would give ChemChina a controlling shareholding in Pirelli. For the last year or so Camfin has been owned by Russian oil firm Rosneft and a holding company of Pirelli’s chairman and chief executive, Marco Tronchetti Provera. Other significant shareholders include Italian banks Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit.

Citing at least two sources familiar with the deal, both Reuters and Bloomberg lent credence to the deal speculation that reached fever pitch yesterday when the firm’s share price broke a 12-year high.

Reuters reported that Camfin is preparing to sell its stake in Pirelli at a price of 15 euros per share. This values Pirelli at around 7.1 billion euros (£5.15 billion pounds). The plan appears to be for the purchase of the Camfin stake first followed by a takeover offer for the rest of Pirelli.

Share prices have continued to rise in response to the news.

Earlier Pirelli said in a separate statement that it hadn’t received any formal communication about the offer. However, this does not preclude indirect negotiations for the Camfin stake.

For background on how ChemChina fits into the tyre business, click here.

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