On 23 January 2020, Pirelli & C. S.p.A. received a notification letter from its largest shareholder, China National Chemical Corporation Ltd. (ChemChina), informing the firm that it is undergoing “strategic restructuring”. The restructuring notice covered both ChemChina and Sinochem Group Co., Ltd.
Market rumours that Pirelli is considering a €9 billion (£7.7 billion) merger with Finland’s Nokian Tyres have been quashed by company spokespeople. Reports that such a deal was on the horizon emerged in mid-January and were then fuelled by re-reporting in the British and Italian press. However, these stories are “without foundation”, according to two Milan-based Pirelli spokespeople that Tyres & Accessories interacted with. Nokian has yet to comment.
A three-year extension to the Shareholders’ Agreement covering the governance of Pirelli & C. S.p.A was agreed upon yesterday. This extension will take effect from the publication date of the notice convening the Pirelli shareholders’ meeting for approving the company’s 2019 financial statements.
An addition to the executive silverware cabinet: During last week’s Fortune China CEO Summit, Sinochem ChemChina and Pirelli chairman Ning Gaoning was the recipient of a Fortune CEO Lifetime Achievement Award.
As expected, Ning Gaoning has been co-opted to the Board of Directors at Pirelli & C. S.p.A. and appointed chairman. Ning, who is also chairman of Chinese state-owned petrochemical and fertiliser company Sinochem as well as chairman of Pirelli parent company ChemChina, succeeds Ren Jianxin. Ren relinquished all roles he held on the Board of Directors at Pirelli & C. S.p.A. on 30 July.
As a consequence of his announced retirement as chairman of China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina), Ren Jianxin has resigned from all roles he held on the Board of Directors at Pirelli & C. S.p.A. His resignation took effect 30 July. Pirelli has officially thanked Ren for his “contribution to the company in these years.”
Ren Jianxin has retired as chairman of ChemChina. His successor has been named as Ning Gaoning (Frank Ning), who concurrently serves as chairman of Chinese state-owned petrochemical and fertiliser company Sinochem. Ren’s replacement by the chairman of ChemChina’s rival is considered by many a precursor to a merger between the two firms, an arrangement that would create a group with annual turnover in excess of £100 billion.
The integration of Prometeon Tyre Group (the former Pirelli Industrial business) and Aeolus Tyre Co. Ltd has stalled after Aeolus’ pending acquisition of a 90 per cent stake in Prometeon failed to gain overseas acquisition approval from Chinese authorities before the 31 December 2017 deadline.
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.
With one industry insider calling ChemChina’s acquisition of Pirelli “a genius move”, it would have been remiss of us not to take the opportunity to spend time with new Aeolus general manager Giovanni Pomati and find out more about how the changes affect the best-known ChemChina brand (Aeolus) and the company’s views on the latest changes in the Chinese marketplace during Tyres & Accessories recent visit to China.
On August 1, 2017 China National Chemical Equipment (CNCE; also known as ChemChian) and Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (Fraunhofer) under Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft signed a strategic cooperation memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Munich. According to the MOU, the two sides will cooperate with each other in the fields of new chemical materials, intelligent manufacturing, automation and information technology.
In parallel with presenting its full-year 2016 results, Pirelli has revealed further details of its complex ownership structure and how it is splitting its consumer and industrial tyre business into two separate entities.
The latest news is that, as of March 2017, TP Industrial holding (which owns the newly renamed PTG, which was called Pirelli industrial until recently – more on that later) has been separated out from Pirelli’s consumer tyre business. In practice this means the assignment of TP Industrial holding to Marco Polo, Pirelli’s sole shareholder. According to Pirelli, the assignment will “ensure that Pirelli and TP Industrial can pursue their own independent paths to growth and independently developed strategies”.
Reuters reports that ChemChina did not bid for Kumho Tire, citing a ChemChina executive. told Reuters, denying South Korean media. Roughly 10 parties are said to have expressed an interest in buying a controlling stake in Kumho, which is the world’s 12th-biggest tyre manufacturer. Analysts suggest the deal could be worth around 1 trillion won ($870.02 million).