Pirelli and Alcatel have signed an agreement regarding the two companies’ submarine telecommunications business. Alcatel will pay Pirelli 52.5 million Euros for certain assets and intellectual property rights, while Pirelli will pay 45 million Euros for a five per cent shareholding in Alcatel’s submarine business.
South African Tiger Wheels has reached agreement in principle to create a uniform global ownership and management structure for its original equipment manufacturer wheel businesses. Eddie Keizan, a joint chairman of Tiger Wheels, said that this would involve the alignment of the previously unequal shareholding of Tiger Wheels and the significant German minority shareholder in ATS and TSW Manufacturing, the wheel manufacturing plant in Babelegi near Pretoria. Tiger Wheels owns 100 percent of the Babelegi plant and 74 percent of ATS and the remaining plants, including those in Germany, Poland, the US. This unequal and differential shareholding had led to conflict and difficulties in the past. Keizan said that possibly the easiest way to resolve the difficulties caused by the differential shareholding was for the minority shareholder to buy 26 percent of the Babelegi operations so there was then equal shareholding in all the manufacturing operations. As a result of the agreement with ATS, Tiger Wheels has terminated negotiations on the possible disposal of its wheel manufacturing businesses.
The shareholding of Apollo Tyres Limited (ATL) promoter Onkar S. Kanwar will come down by 6.54 per cent to 37.33 per cent after preferential allotment of 14.90 per cent of the company’s existing shares to French tyre manufacturer Michelin Group. After the proposed allotment of shares to Michelin, the stake of promoters and business associates in the company would come down to 37.33 per cent from existing 43.87 per cent, an ATL official said. ATL had announced in November to allot 14.90 per stake in the company to world’s largest tyre maker, Michelin, to enter into a technical alliance for manufacture of passenger car radial tyres by ATL and also set up a 51:49 joint venture with it for manufacturing and marketing truck and bus radial tyres.
The Vredestein Investment Consortium (Vico) has increased its shareholding in the Dutch company from 61.2 per cent to 96.8 per cent, following an offer tabled in August, to purchase Vredestein shares for 7.5 Euro. The tender period officially closed on 24th September, by which time Vico has purchased 3,035,594 shares, bringing its holding to 8,265,581 shares. Despite the ending of the tender period, Vico will still buy shares up to 15th October. The listing of Vredestein shares on the official market of Euronext N.V. will be terminated on 24th October.
AXA Financial Inc. has cut its shareholding in Goodyear from 20,333,870 common shares at December 31st, 2001 to 10,845,483 common shares on December 10th 2002. This represents a drop from 12.5 per cent to 6.5 per cent.
The European Bank For Reconstruction And Development will provide 20 million dollars in funds to Michelin Russian Tyre Manufacturing, giving it a 49 per cent shareholding in the plant at Davydovo. Production at the new facility is expected to reach 2.1 million units by 2005.
Continental has announced that it has bought 60 per cent of auto components manufacturer Temic, subject to regulatory approval. Conti paid DaimlerChrysler (DCX) between 623 and 633 million Euro – the exact price is dependent on when the tyre manufacturer decides to acquire the remaining 40 per cent. Until that time, DCX will retain the 40 per cent shareholding. Last year Temic turned over 1.1 bn Euro and the company employs 5,800.
Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. has acquired a majority shareholding in Morgan Tire & Auto. This equity has, after it purchased rival Tire Plus Limited in the summer of last year, more than 550 depots in 24 states of the USA and was second biggest independent equity in the USA, referred to as a “retail-powerhouse”. Turnover of Morgan Tire & Auto exceeds 800 million Euro. Larry Morgan, who began his career as an employee of Firestone, remains CEO. The acquisition is a clear sign that, despite the Firestone recall disaster in the USA, the tyre manufacturer intends to stay in the market with the Firestone brand.
Kumho Industrial, parent company of, among others, Kumho Tires, is currently overwhelmed with debt, due largely to the performance of is Asiana Airlines subsidiary. The company has formulated a self-rescue plan, which involves raising money through selling shares in the tyre company. Few details are publicly available, but it is believed that two foreign financial institutions (one from Hong Kong, the other from the USA) have taken a shareholding worth US$ 1.2 billion in the tyre manufacturer, which will continue to run with the same management. The plan also involves Kumho selling off one of its three petrochemical plants.
The Siam cement Group is to reduce its shareholding in the Michelin Siam Group from 50 per cent to 40 in order to concentrate on its core business. The shares will be purchased by Michelin, the other partner in the joint venture, giving it a 60 per cent stake. Michelin Siam has three factories in Thailand, plus a tyre mould making plant and a steel cord factory. The company makes Michelin brand tyres for vehicles from motorcycles to aircraft.
The Benecke-Kaliko Group is the second-largest part of ContiTech. Continental has decided to increase its shareholding in the company from 50.1% to 99%, buying from DG Bank. Bamberger Kaliko will be separated from the group by a management-buyout.
Continental has denied reports in Indian newspapers that it has a 15% shareholding in Apollo Tyres. Continental is in talks with other companies in India but the results will not be announced until later this year.
Under the terms of the agreement Reedijk Banden Import will operate autonomously and current managing director, Marcus Reedijk will retain responsibility for the day to day running of the company. The Van den Ban group expects to realise a much stronger market position for its wholesale tyre activities. As a result of the acquisition the turnover of Van den Ban Autobanden B.V. is expected to rise to Euro 160 million.