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.
A number of significant management changes were confirmed at yesterday’s meeting of Pirelli & C. SpA shareholders. ChemChina chairman Ren Jianxin was named Pirelli’s new chairman, while Marco Tronchetti Provera was confirmed as chief executive officer and executive vice-chairman.
Pirelli’s parent company, state-owned group China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina), has deep pockets. After acquiring the tyre maker last year it announced its purchase of KraussMaffei Group and shares in Mercuria Energy Trading in January. And yesterday ChemChina gave word of a deal that will be China’s largest overseas takeover ever – the company intends to acquire Swiss agrochemical and seeds company Syngenta AG for US$43 billion by way of a public tender offer.
It recently acquired Pirelli and KrausMaffei, and China National Chemical Corporation has now purchased a stake in Mercuria Energy Trading, an integrated energy and commodities company with a (2014) turnover of US$106 billion. The Chinese chemical company has taken a 12 per cent share in the shareholding structure of Mercuria.
Leading chemical group China National Chemical Corporation, or ChemChina, has agreed to acquire machinery manufacturer KraussMaffei Group from Onex Corporation for a cash enterprise value of 925 million euros. ChemChina’s acquisition of the KraussMaffei Group covers the German company’s three brands of products, including the KraussMaffei Berstorff range of extruders, roller head systems and cap strip systems for the tyre industry. The transaction is subject to closing conditions including customary regulatory approvals.
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”.