Cooper Tire wasn’t initially looking to sell when Goodyear chief executive Rich Kramer approached the company, Cooper’s president and CEO told journalists in a virtual press conference on 22 February 2021. Rather, Cooper’s management and board were convinced by Goodyear’s “compelling offer” and “strategic logic”. So, what exactly was it that convinced Cooper’s leadership team?
Explaining the rationale behind Goodyear’s multi-billion dollar acquisition of Cooper Tire, executives said the combination offers “compelling strategic and financial benefits”. Specifically, they suggested the transaction “further strengthens Goodyear’s leading position in the US, while significantly growing its position in other North American markets.” With just two home-grown domestic tyremakers in the US (Goodyear and Cooper), that much is clear. However, the benefits of the announced merger are not limited to North America. In China, the combination will almost double Goodyear’s presence. According to Goodyear, it will also increase the Akron, Ohio-based tyremaker’s OE tyre supply position, while creating broader distribution for Cooper replacement tyres through Goodyear’s network of 2,500 branded retail stores.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and Cooper Tire & Rubber Company have made “a definitive transaction agreement” that will see Goodyear buy Cooper for roughly $2.5 billion. The combined company will have approximately $17.5 billion in pro forma 2019 sales. Upon closing of the transaction, Goodyear shareholders will own approximately 84 per cent of the combined company, and Cooper shareholders will own approximately 16 per cent.
Toyo Tire Corporation is closing its loss-making wholly-owned Silverstone Berhad Malaysian tyre manufacturing subsidiary in June 2021. Established on 12 July 1986 and purchased by Toyo in 2011, Silverstone currently manufactures tyres for (primarily Malaysian) new vehicles and Silverstone branded tyres for the aftermarket as well as certain Toyo branded tyres. The dissolution of the Silverstone subsidiary (Silverstone Berhad) will commence by 31 December 2021.
Kingpin Tyres, one of the last remaining passenger car tyre retreaders in the UK, has sold its Kingpin brand name and retread production line to Romanian retreader SC Radburg Center Srl. The transaction took place during the summer of 2020 following several months of negotiations, representatives of new owners Radburg told Tyres & Accessories during a recent interview.
In December 2020 French group UTAC CERAM announced that it was buying British test specialists Millbrook, which also owns well-known tyre test centres such as Test World in Finland. The plan is to merge the two companies, creating “a market-leading group in vehicle testing, vehicle type approval and emerging technologies for autonomous, connected and electric vehicles”.
The world’s largest cement maker, LafargeHolcim, has confirmed that it will buy Firestone Building Products from Bridgestone Americas in a US$3.4 billion deal. The sale is designed to enable Bridgestone to “strengthen investments in company’s tyre business and fast-growing mobility solutions business”, according to an official statement.
ClearCourse Partnership LLP, a group of technology companies providing software solutions, has acquired Garage Data Systems (GDS). GDS creates business software for motor trade professionals across the UK and Ireland. This deal represents the 23rd company acquired by ClearCourse, and the first in the motor industry. No financial terms of the acquisition have been released.
Nexion SpA has agreed to acquire Kompunet Informatica, a leading software and data provider in the automotive sector. As a result, Kompunet will become part of the Nexion Group. Kompunet CEO Antonio Russo will remain in the group carrying out the Kompunet projects.
Brembo has signed an agreement for the acquisition of a 100 per cent stake in SBS Friction A/S, a Danish company which develops and manufactures sintered and organic material brake pads for motorcycles. The transaction entails a consideration of 224 million Danish Krone, equal to approximately £27 million. The company will pay this using available cash. Enterprise value is 300 million Danish Krone (£36 million). Brembo expects the agreement’s finalisation in the first quarter of 2021.
Akron Rubber Development Laboratory, Inc. (ARDL) has purchased all Experimental Services Inc’s (ESI) assets on 16 October, ARDL announced in a statement on 5 November. ESI describes itself as, “An engineering laboratory for engineers and researchers.” Providing static, dynamic, fatigue and vibration testing for the past thirty years, ESI’s focus has “allowed it to become the best at what it does” ARDL stated.
Kerr’s Tyre’s & Auto has acquired Belfast-based Roundabout Tyre & Battery Service. Roundabout Tyre & Battery Service have been operating from Belfast’s outer ring for 31 years. No price details have been released.
Michelin has added to its portfolio of non-tyre business assets with the acquisition of all outstanding shares in Le Fooding three years after the two companies first began collaborating. The deal is the culmination of an agreement signed with the co-founders of Le Fooding in 2017 – after Michelin acquired a 40 per cent stake in its share capital – that provided for Michelin’s future acquisition of the remaining interest.
Hexpol AB (publ) has appointed Georg Brunstam as president and CEO of Hexpol AB (publ) effective 20 November 2020. Georg Brunstam is currently chairman of the Board for Hexpol AB (publ) and had previously been President and CEO for Hexpol AB (publ) 2007-2017.
German asset management firm Aurelius Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA is acquiring the GKN Wheels & Structures business from GKN. The transaction is expected to complete in November and is conditional on receiving anti-trust approval. Following the deal’s completion, GKN Wheels & Structures will gain an as-yet-undisclosed new name.