KRANJ, Slovenia (May 6, 2002)–Goodyear has increased its ownership stake in Slovenia's Sava Tires to 80 percent and secured the right to buy the remaining 20 percent during 2004 and 2005.
Goodyear paid $38.5 million recently to local shareholders for a 20-percent stake in Sava, the Kranj-based unit that posted sales of more than $230 million last year. Goodyear has invested more than $90 million in the company since buying into it in 1998. The plant makes more than 6 million car, light and medium truck tires a year with 1,400 employees.
"We are very pleased to further strengthen our position with Sava Tires," said Jarro Kaplan, president of Goodyear´s Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa Region. "Since acquiring a 60-percent stake in the joint venture in 1998, we have seen Sava Tires grow successfully as a supplier of quality products not only to the Slovenian market, but also to an increasing number of countries in both Western and Eastern Europe.”
Sava is one of four tire plants Goodyear operates in its eastern Europe/Middle East region. Others are in Debica, Poland and in Izmit and Adapazari in Turkey.