Pirelli aims to buy Birla Tyres NEW DELHI, India—Pirelli S.p.A. is negotiating to buy 100 percent of Calcutta, India-based Birla Tyres Ltd. for about $125 million, a senior official for Basant Kumar Birla Group, Birla's parent company, said.
Pirelli has supplied technology to Birla Tyres since the latter's inception in 1994. Birla reported 1998 earnings of $8.1 million on sales of $142.8 million. The company recently added 250,000 units of annual production capacity for steel radial passenger and light truck tires at its plant in Balasore, India, boosting the facility's 1.2 million-unit output 20.8 percent.
Nokian seeks partner(s)
NOKIA, Finland—Nokian Tyres P.L.C. said it is negotiating "intensively" with several unnamed "major" tire makers regarding cooperation on research and development, off-take production and product development, and expects to complete a deal or deals by mid-summer.
Nokian especially wants to find a partner or partners for lower-cost tires so it can free up space at its factory in Nokia for higher-value-added products, a company spokeswoman said. Nokian wants to increase the share of off-take-sourced tires from 5 percent of sales currently to 30 percent by 2005, she said.
Michelin buys out Okamoto
OHTA, Japan—Okamoto Industries Ltd. has agreed to sell its remaining 17-percent stake in Michelin Okamoto Tire Corp. to Group Michelin, giving Michelin 100-percent control of the former joint venture, together with rights to the Riken brand.
Michelin Okamoto's single tire plant, in Ohta, produces an estimated 6 million passenger and light truck tires annually.