A quick glance at our recent top 10 articles of 2021 email offers a unique overview of the major themes of the last 12 months. Since most of those issues are ongoing stories, they bring with them a useful insight into some of the things we can expect in 2022 – an insight that can be summarised by these three words: acquisitions, consolidation and sustainability.
Tyre makers have a lot on their minds these days. In addition to experiencing an extraordinary couple of years that began with a virus and then mutated into a succession of rising input prices, they also need to think far beyond the traditional product development cycle. Legislation and end user expectations are driving manufacturers to explore new materials and achieve greater sustainability, while at the same time evolving technology means a growing focus upon connectivity and services. We recently caught up with Paolo Pompei to find out how Trelleborg Wheel Systems (TWS) is addressing these key issues.
The Halfords Group reported a strong set of full-year 2021 that saw the company generate total sales of 1,292.5 million in 2021, up 13.1 per cent compared with the 2020 financial year (2020: 1,155.1 million). The financial report, which was published on 17 June 2021, shows that by all measures pre-tax profits skyrocketed. Indeed, Halfords Group reported profit before tax after the impact of IFRS 16 of £64.5 million, which amounts to a headline-grabbing increase of 184.1 per cent compared with the previous year.
Halfords Autocentres accounted for an increasing proportion of the group’s overall sales figures, reporting 2021 sales of £252.5 million, up 31.6 per cent compared with 2020’s £194.1 million.
The day after Goodyear announced that it is buying Cooper Tire for north of $2.5 billion, Fitch Ratings affirmed its Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (GT) and its Goodyear Europe B.V. (GEBV). Fitch also affirmed its ratings on a number of specific funding lines. Both moves can be interpreted as partially affirming the Goodyear Cooper acquisition’s strategic logic – something that was described as compelling by the senior executives of both companies.
The last few weeks have seen well-known automotive retailer and autocentre owner Halfords Group make a major move into the tyre retail space. Of course, this is nothing new, the company has been travelling towards tyre retail for about a decade. The last push of this scale was in February 2010 when the company bought Nationwide Autocentres for £73 million – a move that was laden with history of its own.
Halfords Group plc bought McConechy’s Tyre Service Limited, the sixth-largest tyre retail business in the UK, on 7 November 2019 for £8.5 million. This makes the newly-expanded Halfords Autocentres the second largest tyre retailer in the UK.
Trail, the European private equity investment firm, today announces the signature of an exclusivity agreement to acquire Electropoli, a leading provider of surface treatment services in Europe, notably for the automotive industry.
Kordsa has spent roughly US$100 million buying Fabric Development Inc (FDI) and Textile Products Inc. (TPI), which provide advanced composite materials to the commercial aviation industry. With these acquisitions Kordsa aims to follow the same path that led to leadership in tyre reinforcement technologies.
European FinTyre Distribution Limited (EfTD) has appointed Massimiliano Messina as chief financial officer of the group.
Messina role makes him responsible for optimising the financial resources of the group and securing the synergy between its different companies. In addition, he will coordinate the merger and acquisition activity with the support of the management team and will report directly to Mauro Pessi, CEO of the group.
By acquiring a 75 per cent equity stake in high-tech digital prototype company ‘Model Solution Ltd.’, Hankook Tire hopes to benefit from synergies gained by combining the company’s know-how with that of its affiliate, super-size mould equipment company M&K Technology. The tyre maker paid KRW 68.6 billion (£47.3 million) for the stake.
According to a statement released on 1 March, Messe Frankfurt – the world’s third biggest exhibition organiser and the owner of the Automechanika name – the acquisition is designed to set up a UK subsidiary.
In an interview published by German financial daily Börsen-Zeitung on Saturday, chief financial officer of Continental AG, Wolfgang Schäfer, stated that the company has set at least 3 billion euros aside for expanding within automotive markets through acquisitions.
No I am not talking about the unqualifiable rumours that Doublestar made an offer of up to 250 million euros for Zenises. Rather, that in the first week of September we learnt that Doublestar’s proposed acquisition of Kumho was collapsing before the firm’s eyes after the Qingdao-Chinese tyre manufacturer asked for a double-digit discount. And it is also worth considering what all this means for the wider tyre manufacturing sector.
The Zircotec Group has acquired performance exhaust coating and thermal management specialist Performance 1 Coatings (P1C). The takeover, which includes 100 per cent of the P1C business, widens the breadth of Zircotec Group’s product range, which now includes high quality performance coatings at every price point. The group states that the buy-out will enable P1C and its performance aftermarket customers to benefit from future product enhancements by Zircotec’s technology, OE-expertise and extensive in-house R&D facilities.