Yokohama’s Prometeon bid: Delayed by Covid, but nearing completion
Today Yokohama announced that it is consolidating its OTR tyre businesses into Yokohama Off-Highway Tires, which could be read as a prelude to the announcement Yokohama’s bid for the Prometeon tyre business. Roughly a year after the story broke, Yokohama’s bid for Prometeon isn’t the best kept secret in the tyre industry. Tyres & Accessories first heard talk of Yokohama’s bid for the ex-Pirelli industrial and commercial vehicle tyre business back in July 2019. The news was reported world-wide after we broke the story in September 2019, followed days later by third-party confirmation from the Chinese side of the deal. At that time, the deal was set to go public by the end of 2019. A few months later at the start of 2020, the timeframe switched to an end-of-first-quarter 2020 deadline. Then the coronavirus pandemic happened. And in the months that have followed things have gone quiet. So, where is Yokohama’s bid for Prometeon up to? The latest news is that deal is still on-track, but that there have been a few changes along the way. Here, Tyres & Accessories brings an update on the status of the acquisition and offers a different view on the deal by looking at it from a South American perspective.
Japanese tyre and rubber manufacturer Yokohama is planning to invest into and even buy Prometeon, the new name for the former Pirelli commercial and industrial tyre manufacturing operation, according to a range of sources. Tyres & Accessories first heard this news in July and then the Italian financial press subsequently suggested that Prometeon’s shareholders were considering restructuring Prometeon’s ownership. Yokohama is understood to be leading the suitors. The official Yokohama/Prometeon investment announcement is expected during the course of the next week or so.
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.
Pirelli & C. S.p.A. is to officially reverse merge with Marco Polo Industrial Holding S.p.A. This transaction will be submitted to the extraordinary shareholders’ meetings on 15 February 2016, with a view to completing during the first half of 2016.
Marco Polo Industrial Holding S.p.A., Pirelli’s owner and a company indirectly controlled by China National Chemical Corporation through China National Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd., has moved to the next stage of its takeover, de-listing Pirelli shares from the Italian stock exchange.
Following the re-opening of its well-reported takeover offer, Marco Polo Industrial Holding S.p.A. now owns 95.969 per cent of the ordinary share capital of Pirelli. The news suggests the takeover of Pirelli is now virtually complete and Marco Polo (which itself is owned by China National Chemical Corporation, China National Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd., Camfin S.p.A., Coinv S.p.A. and Long-Term Investments Luxembourg S.A. (which is controlled by Rosneft) is now the shareholder of basically all of Pirelli’s stock. The latest developments have taken place in the two weeks since Marco Polo became Pirelli’s majority shareholder on 8 October.
As of yesterday (12 October 2015) Marco Polo Industrial Holding’s offer for Pirelli ordinary share capital achieved an acceptance rate of 53.6 per cent. However, because today (13 October) is the last day of the offer period, it is very likely that this percentage will be significantly more at the end of the day. This means the pre-announced plans for ChemChina to buy around two-thirds of Pirelli is well underway and therefore the company is now effectively Chinese-owned.
On 29 September Marco Polo Industrial Holding S.p.A purchased 45,143,033 ordinary Pirelli & C. S.p.A. shares representing approximately 9.5 per cent of the company and 190,307 savings shares from certain investment funds managed by Paulson at a price of Euro 15.00 per share.