Newly inaugurated Pirelli president, ChemChina’s Ren Jianxin, recently told Corierre della Sera of his pride in his company for completing the recent acquisition of Pirelli and his personal satisfaction to be working with Marco Tronchetti Provera. According to the interview, which was published in the Italy daily newspaper on 22 August, the acquisition and subsequent appointment is a great moment for ChemChina and for Ren himself it is a great honour to be Pirelli president and to work with Marco Tronchetti Provera, who he sees as an older brother and a teacher. He also revealed details of the wider strategy behind the investment.
The most noticeable feature of Italian football club F.C. Internazionale Milano’s newly-unveiled away kit is that the Pirelli name doesn’t appear on the shirt. Its absence brings to mind comments Pirelli CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera made when Inter stood before the Europa League exit in May, however the tyre maker remains closely linked to the new kit – the Pirelli name has made room on the away shirt for Driver, the company’s network of independent tyre dealers.
Italian football club F.C. Internazionale Milano recently unveiled its home kit for the upcoming 2015/16 season, a strip that prominently displays the name Pirelli – an Inter Milan sponsor since 1995 and former shareholder in the club – on the shirt. But a question mark now hangs over whether this partnership will last another season. Pirelli CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera has indicated that the tyre maker’s interest in sponsoring Inter Milan may wane if the club fails to secure a berth in next season’s Europa League.
ChemChina’s chairman, Ren Jianxin, has publically reiterated his and his company’s commitment to completing its proposed takeover of Pirelli. Speaking to the Financial Times, Ren quoted a Chinese proverb and explained: “…It means that one must do everything in one’s power to facilitate a marriage. We are hoping that all the pieces can come together for our wonderful marriage with Pirelli.”
With coverage of ChemChina’s purchase of Pirelli waning, various newswires have been reporting market rumours that Bridgestone has been preparing a counterbid for Pirelli. However, in an interview with Reuters on 26 March, Pirelli CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera said that such a move would be “a disaster”. He supported ChemChina’s bid, on the other hand, saying it is: “good for the future of Pirelli and guarantees its global growth”.
Following confirmation that ChemChina is set to buy Pirelli, the Italian manufacturer’s CEO, Marco Tronchetti Provera, has sought to re-assure employees that “the agreement with the Chinese will have no impact on employment”. Specifically this means R&D will remain in Italy, for example. For his part, Tronchetti was characteristically upbeat about the deal: “The opportunity with a partner like ChemChina is for the company to become bigger and to have a more effective penetration of the Asian market.”
In the early hours of 23 March 2015 Beijing Time, ChemChina’s China National Tire & Rubber Co. (CNRC) subsidiary signed an agreement with Camfin S.p.A. to purchase Camfin’s 26.2 per cent Pirelli shareholding at 15 euros a share. This values Pirelli at around 7.1 billion euros (£5.15 billion pounds). A joint tender offer by ChemChina, Camfin and other investors on the rest of Pirelli’s shareholding is now expected to follow.
At the request of Consob, the Italian Securities and Exchange Commission, Pirelli has issued a short statement regarding claims that company chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera is working with an Asian partner with a view to it partially or fully acquiring Pirelli.
Football magnates such as Arsenal’s second-largest shareholder Alisher Usmanov and Chelsea’s Roman Abramovich may have lost nearly losing $809 million (£516 million) $450 million (£287 million) already with the collapse of the rouble, but Pirelli’s Marco Tronchetti Provera remains optimistic about the tyre maker’s chances in Russia.
Rosneft, Pirelli and the Koleso retail chain have opened the first of many Pirelli tyre centres that are planned for Rosneft service stations in Russia’s capital, Moscow. The Pirelli centre at Mira Avenue 94 has been established under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Rosneft head Igor Sechin and Pirelli & C. S.p.A. chairman and CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera on 24 May 2014 at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Russian petroleum industry colossus Rosneft reports the closure of its agreement to purchase a 50 per cent share in holding company Camfin S.p.A., which owns a 26.19 stake in Pirelli & C. S.p.A. This acquisition gives Rosneft a 13 per cent indirect share in the tyre maker and the right to nominate candidates for Pirelli’s Board of Directors – a right the company chose to exercise immediately. Five new Rosneft-nominated individuals joined the Board of Directors on 10 July, filling vacancies created by five resignations that were tendered that same day.
Marco Tronchetti Provera does not expect Western Sanctions against Russia to have any impact on Rosneft’s acquisition of a 13 per cent shareholding in Pirelli. Reuters reports that the Pirelli chairman and CEO told journalists on the sideline of an event that “the timetable of the deal is confirmed, nothing has changed.”
Working on a share price of €12, which translates into a market capitalisation of €5.8 billion, Pirelli boss Marco Tronchetti Provera has arranged the sale of 13 per cent of all Pirelli shares to a majority state-owned Russian energy giant. With this transaction, Rosneft is set to become the largest single Pirelli shareholder. But even though his own shareholding will reduce to less than five per cent when the ink dries on the deal, Tronchetti will retain more or less free rein at Pirelli. While some market observers currently fear that the political situation in Crimea and the Ukraine may harm the deal, and others set their hopes upon the introduction of sanctions against Russia getting in the way, this article focuses on other questions – who Pirelli actually belongs to, who has the say at Pirelli, and how it is possible to control the Pirelli Group despite only having a minority shareholding?
Marco Tronchetti Provera has already indicated he will divest his family’s share in Pirelli some time in the next few years, however the Italian tyre maker’s chairman and CEO has quashed speculation that he has received a proposal regarding a potential Pirelli sale. In a statement written on 29 January and published by Reuters, Tronchetti Provera described suggestions of a change in Pirelli’s ownership structure as “pure fantasy”.
In a press statement dated 21 October, Pirelli & C. SpA shares that the leadership of its Shareholder Block Agreement met that day and decided, at the proposal of Marco Tronchetti Provera, to mandate Alessandro Pedersoli to launch consultations amongst all shareholders belonging to the Shareholder Block Agreement ahead of its expiry on 15 April 2014, with a view to evaluating the possibility of its early dissolution.