PARIS (July 27 2016) — Michelin Group has increased its capital share-holding in Ivory Coast-based natural rubber (NR) supplier Societe Internationale de Plantations d'Heveas (SIPH) to around 24 percent, from 20 percent previously.
The share-purchase was through Swiss-based Compagnie Financière Michelin (CFM), SIPH said. Groupe Sifca of Ivory Coast is the majority shareholder at 55 percent.
Michelin is one of the largest customers of SIPH, which produces and processes NR for industrial use, managing over 99,000 acres of mature rubber trees.
The rubber company's production capacity is 250,000 metric tons spread over Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Liberia.
SIPH recently announced that this year it is investing approximately $21 million in its plantation and industrial capacities.
Some analysts have suggested that the share-purchase signal's a belief at Michelin that NR prices are now recovering from their five-year slump.
This report appeared in European Rubber Journal, a United Kingdom-based sibling publication of Tire Business.