Reports: Pirelli being sold to an Asian partner

Italian news reports have led to a flurry of speculation that Pirelli is up for sale and could be considering working with an Asian partner. The speculation centres on reports published by Corriere della Sera suggesting Pirelli chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera is working on bringing in an Asian shareholder/partner/owner. Bloomberg named Yokohama Rubber Co. and Zhongce Rubber Co. as potential investors.

Corriere della Sera reports that the new deal would see an Asian firm partner with some of Pirelli’s current shareholders to buy-out the company. In this scenario Pirelli would then be de-listed and restructured. The paper added that in such circumstances Tronchetti Provera would remain in the driving seat.

The stock market responded enthusiastically to the news, which came out in the English-language press on the morning of 19 March, following the original Italian language reports the evening before. Various data sources highlight that Pirelli’s share price has shot up as much as 30 per cent so far this year and peaked at 15.18 euros following the news, a 12-year high.

Last year Pirelli signed a deal with Russian oil major Rosneft, which made that firm Pirelli’s largest individual shareholder.

Pirelli representatives have not responded to requests for comment.

Something similar happened just over a year ago, when takeover rumours prompted a share price peak. On this occasion the rumours were batted away as pure speculation before the Rosneft deal went public a couple of months later.

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