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.
Fraikin signed a three-year truck and trailer tyre supply deal with Prometeon. Prometeon will supply and manager Pirelli and Formula brand tyres for Fraikin’s fleet of 3,100 rigids, tractors and trailers. Fraikin is no stranger to Pirelli and Formula tyres, having fitted them between 2006 and 2017. Fraikin has also previously worked with Bandvulc and ATS Euromaster.
Prometeon Tyre Group has appointed Ali Yilmaz as marketing manager for the UK, Eire and Nordic countries. In this new position, he will report to Peter Fairlie, managing director, and will lead the company’s UK marketing team.
Prometeon Tyre Group is donating one euro for each tyre sold in Europe in May to the International Committee of the Red Cross’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of its Together initiative, Prometeon has invited suppliers, customers and its staff to donate as well. Furthermore, Prometeon will match its suppliers’ contributions.
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.
Say hello to new generation of Pirelli tyres for buses and coaches engaged in regional and long-distance service. The H:01 Coach line-up includes the FH:01 all-axle and the specialised TH:01 drive tyre fitment. Manufacturer Prometeon says its R&D team aimed to develop a product that satisfies the needs of operators in the sector while keeping pace with the evolution of both vehicle technologies and regulations covering CO2 emissions and noise.
Pirelli shareholder Camfin now has the right to buy up to 15 per cent of Pirelli shares. The news came when Camfin announced on 26 September that it had underwritten “an additional financial instrument, maturing in September 2022, denominated ‘Call Spread’ with 8.9 million Pirelli shares underlying”. Call Spread’s shareholding equates to 0.89% of Pirelli’s share capital.
Prometeon Tyre Group has signed a partnership agreement with GreenRoad, a provider of fleet safety and performance solutions. According to the two companies, the agreement enables Prometeon to “enrich its PRO-Services fleet services portfolio, through the addition of PRO Drive, the new solution based on GreenRoad Know-how and expertise in the fleet management and Telematics sector.”
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.
With the introduction of the Pirelli H:01 Proway line, Prometeon Tyre Group says it is offering tyres that provide “maximum efficiency in long-distance transportation” thanks to reduced rolling resistance and improved durability. Two tyres are available in this latest evolution of the :01 Series – the steer axle Pirelli FH:01 Proway and the drive axle TH:01 Proway.
Prometeon Tyre Group UK Ltd has appointed Peter Fairlie its new managing director. He will be based at the company’s head office in Burton on Trent and will be responsible for Prometeon Tyre Group’s business in the UK, Ireland and the Nordic markets.