HELSINKI, Finland (March 19, 2003) — Bridgestone Corp. has completed its purchase of an 18.9-percent share of Nokian Tyres P.L.C., buying 2 million shares in the Finnish tire maker from telecommunications equipment conglomerate Nokia Corp.
The transaction, carried out by Brussels-based Bridgestone Europe N.V./S.A. for approximately $73.2 million, makes Bridgestone Nokian's single largest shareholder. Nokia´s shareholding in Nokian Tyres dates to 1994 when Nokia spun the tire maker off into a separate, publicly traded entity.
Tokyo-based Bridgestone will treat Nokian as an independent company, and the two firms will examine ways to complement each other´s product development, testing and distribution operations, Shoshi Arakawa, chairman and CEO of Bridgestone Europe, said earlier.