Tronchetti: Pirelli/ChemChina deal won’t affect employment
Following confirmation that ChemChina is set to buy Pirelli, the Italian manufacturer’s CEO, Marco Tronchetti Provera, has sought to re-assure employees that “the agreement with the Chinese will have no impact on employment”. Specifically this means R&D will remain in Italy, for example. For his part, Tronchetti was characteristically upbeat about the deal: “The opportunity with a partner like ChemChina is for the company to become bigger and to have a more effective penetration of the Asian market.”
Tronchetti’s logic is based on Pirelli’s premium technological and branding position: “…The Chinese partners appreciate our ability to produce tyres of very high quality and our factories which are at the cutting edge worldwide. These are the points of strength in which we will continue to invest because they will allow us to maintain our leadership in the Prestige segment and to be among the leading producers in the Premium segment.” Indeed, his explanation centres on the reasoning that the future Chinese owners will seek to maintain this arrangement.
Continuing, Tronchetti pointed to the design of the ChemChina deal, which has been constructed to ensure the new owners won’t “interfere” with present operations: “The Chinese partner has no intention, as can be seen both in the agreements and in the clauses of the bylaws, to interfere in the operational management of the group.”
In practical terms this means the headquarters and R&D will be kept in Italy and intellectual property will be protected: “Technologies can’t be transferred to third parties. Changing these rules would require a vote of 90 per cent of a shareholders’ meeting. All proposals about management, strategies and choice of managers remain the sole responsibility of Pirelli’s CEO and can only be rejected by the board in cases where it can be demonstrated that the proposals are not in the interests of Pirelli.”