No Russia clarity for Nokian Tyres
Anyone listening to the Nokian Tyres conference call on Tuesday in the hope of gaining insights into negotiations with Tatneft were sorely disappointed. More than three months after Nokian announced the sale of its Russian operations to the energy company for around 400 million euros, fundamental aspects of the deal – such as whether a sale to Tatneft will even take place – are still completely opaque. Jukka Moisio, president and chief executive officer of Nokian Tyres, brought no clarity to the subject.
Moisio reminded conference call participants of the tyre maker’s words in late October, when it spoke of “substantial uncertainties” related to the timing, terms and conditions and closing of the transaction with Russian firm Tatneft. “And the situation has definitely not got any better,” he remarked.
“It is a demanding topic and environment and therefore I would love to give you more clarity, but I don’t have that either,” Moisio added. However, the president and chief executive officer did stress that the construction of Nokian Tyres’ new plant in Romania is in no way dependent upon successful negotiations with Tatneft or any other party in Russia: “Despite the ongoing Russian process, the rebuild of the company in terms of building the new factory in Romania and advancing with (the) capacity rebuild is not dependent on the Russian exit…these are two separate things…these two things are not dependent.”
Future focus for 99.9%
Although Moisio expressed a wish to provide more clarity on the sale to Tatneft, Teemu Kangas-Kärki appeared less keen to dwell on the topic and its significance to the tyre maker. He commented that 99.9 per cent of the Nokian Tyres team are focusing on the “future building of the new Nokian Tyres.” The chief financial officer said he and “a few” others working with him are the sole team members “who are only focusing on closing the deal in Russia.”