Michelin to buy 465-outlet retailer
PARIS-Group Michelin's Euromaster tire retailing unit has agreed to buy the 465-outlet European tire distribution business of Denmark's Viborg Gruppen Holding A/S.
Michelin said it will pay about $305 million for the dealership, which comprises retail and commercial outlets in Austria, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands and Switzerland. The Viborg network posted sales of $510 million in 2001, Michelin said. Euromaster has 1,200 outlets and reported sales of $1.3 billion in 2001. The deal is subject to approval by the European Union regulatory authorities.
Combined Euromaster-Viborg will have a share of about 13 percent of the European truck tire replacement market and 8 percent for passenger tires, Michelin said. Viborg's Genan tire recycling businesses are not part of the transaction, Michelin said.
Cheng Shin to build plant in Thailand
YUANLIN, Taiwan-Cheng Shin Rubber Industry Co. Ltd., the world's 14th largest tire maker, plans to build a $50 million tire plant near Bangkok, Thailand, with production of passenger and light truck radials to begin in late 2004.
Cheng Shin, which does business in North America as Maxxis International, will build the plant on a 72-acre site in Rayong City, Thailand. The plant will employ 1,700 workers and make 10,000 tires a day at start-up, the company said.
Cheng Shin said it chose Thailand for the new factory because it is one of the world's major suppliers of natural rubber, as well as Asia's major production base for autos. The new facility will be Cheng Shin's fourth tire plant. The company runs plants in Yuanlin, Taiwan, and Xiamen and Kun Shan, China, the latter a joint venture with Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd.