HONG KONG-Goodyear's joint venture with China's Dalian Rubber General Factory is being questioned by China Tire Holdings, which is claiming 75-percent ownership in Dalian. Goodyear, however, said it ``was assured by all Chinese parties and officials involved in the transaction with Dalian General Rubber Factory that there were no outstanding prior claims that would interfere with the joint venture.''
The confusion stems from a joint venture agreement Dalian CSI Rubber signed with Hong Kong-based China Tire Holdings in mid-1993. The agreement, covering the development of radial tires at the Dalian International Nordic Tyre factory, was considered subject to government approval at that time.
Officials from China Tire Holdings claimed in interviews published in Asia that the Akron-based firm initially had approached them about acquiring China Tire Holdings' interest in Dalian. Apparently, after Goodyear's interest in Dalian came to light, municipal authorities in Dalian voided China Tire Holdings' claim, clearing the way for Goodyear to proceed with negotiations.
Goodyear pledged to invest $30 million to take 75-percent control of the venture, called Goodyear-Dalian.-By Bruce Davis, Europe correspondent.