Far from there being one trump card to keep commercial fleets happy and content, Bridgestone believes there are a number of compelling factors that combine to keep its customers on the right road. Bridgestone’s commercial sales director Greg Ward tells Tyres & Accessories that a number of factors combine to make Bridgestone a top proposition to commercial fleets. The manufacturer has invested in digital mobility solutions, while its latest tyres for the segment introduce improved fuel efficiency and durability characteristics.
Bridgestone Europe (Bridgestone) will rename TomTom Telematics as Webfleet Solutions on 1 October 2019, following its acquisition of the company on 1 April. The tyre giant revealed that the EMEA business currently serves more than 1.2 million vehicles with mobility subscriptions and fleet solutions.
TomTom is set to return roughly 750 million euros to its shareholders after the sale of TomTom Telematics to Bridgestone for 910 million euros closed in April 2019. According to the company, TomTom will return the money on 27 May, through a consolidation of shares. Telecom Paper reported that for every 16 shares, nine will remain, resulting in the repayment of 5.74 euros per remaining share. This is said to be equivalent to 3.22 euros per share, based on the number of outstanding shares before consolidation.
Michelin has agreed to buy the entire share capital of Masternaut, one of the largest European telematics providers, for an undisclosed amount. While not price details have been released, according to the company, the transaction has been made on the basis of eight-times 2018 EBITDA before synergies. Masternaut will continue to operate under its own brand as a fully-owned subsidiary within Michelin, and the transaction is expected to close within the next sixty days.
It is not unusual for the start of the year to be replete with corporate acquisitions. Some even happen while much of the western world is enjoying Christmas and new year holidays. While European FinTyre Distribution (EfTD) did indeed enact the latest move in its ongoing strategic purchasing programme during the 2018 holiday break, it seems that this year February was the month of choice for getting the chequebooks out, with Bridgestone, Michelin and – in the UK at least – Goodyear all announcing strategic spending. For different but connected reasons all three challenge us to consider the impact of changing mobility trends.