ENSCHEDE, The Netherlands (Nov. 4, 2004) — Vredestein NV has confirmed that it is in detailed discussions about selling its tire unit to Russian tire maker, Amtel Holdings.
Rob Oudshoorn, chief executive of the Dutch company, confirmed that talks are going well and he expects the sale to go through by the beginning of 2005.
In a statement, Amtel said the the transaction, anticipated to close by February 2005, will involve buying Vredestein Investment Consortium (VICO) N.V.'s interest in Vredestein Banden. Included would be all operating subsidiaries engaged in the production, distribution and sales of tires and off-take arrangements, as well as Vredestein Banden's trademarks, patents and other intellectual property.
Assuming the deal goes through, Mr. Oudshoorn said, Amtel would have access both to Vredestein´s distribution channels in Europe and North America and to Vredestein´s tire building technology, as well as the brand name and equipment at the Enschede plant.
The deal also is expected to cover the Vredestein Banden subsidiary, Vredestein Consulting, which offers advice on tire design and manufacture on a contract basis. Amtel would carry out the deal through its Amtel Holdings Holland N.V. unit.
Mr. Oudshoorn said Amtel is keen to improve its sales position in the Russian high performance and premium sector, where imported tires dominate. The company therefore wants an import brand name to sell in Russia. In addition, the company has recently been investing heavily in modern tire building equipment and therefore has the capability to make tires that meet the expectations of customers in Europe, America and Canada, Mr. Oudshoorn added.
In the short term, he said, it is business as usual at Vredestein.