AKRON (Oct. 10, 2001)—Goodyear has branded as untrue news reports that it is interested in acquiring the tire operations of Italy´s Pirelli S.p.A.
Goodyear, in response to those reports, said its chairman and CEO, Sam G. Gibara did not say the company was interested in buying any part—or all—of Pirelli´s tire business while being interviewed three weeks ago by the German magazine, Wirtschafts-Woche.
The publication, in a news release promoting its upcoming issue, quoted Mr. Gibara as saying Pirelli´s tire operations "would make a good fit for us.”
The subject apparently arose from Pirelli's recent revelation that it plans to sell its truck tire business during the next 18 months, but keep its remaining tire operations.
Wirtschafts-Woche also quoted Mr. Gibara as saying Goodyear plans to reduce the number of its brands in Europe, with Kelly being one of those targeted for removal.
Goodyear, in its statement, acknowledged that the subject of Pirelli had been raised by the reporter during the interview and said Mr. Gibara had responded with positive comments about Pirelli, especially in regards to that company's success in high-performance tires and in Latin America. However, Goodyear said Mr. Gibara told the reporter the companies have held no discussions on the subject.
Pirelli, issuing its own statement denying the reports, called any suggestion that it would sell its tire operations “unrealistic” and said it regards these activities as “strategic.”
“Even the sale of the European truck tires segment, communicated in recent weeks as a possibility, will be pursued only if and when particularly interesting opportunities arise,” Pirelli said.