BRABAND, Denmark — Sun Tyre & Wheel Systems of India has purchased a solid tire plant near Colombo, Sri Lanka, from Starco Group and has agreed to continue making tires for the Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd. subsidiary.
Sun Tyre & Wheel is a division of Sundaram Industries Ltd., which in turn is part of India's TVS Group. The plant in Sri Lanka — which Starco opened in 2014 — will be Sun Tyre's third on the island nation and fifth overall and will boost its capacity by 40 percent, according to Starco, the Brabend-based supplier of wheels and mounted tire/wheel assemblies for applications ranging from wheelbarrows and mowers to large agricultural and industrial machinery.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Chennai, India-based Sun Tyre will continue to produce Starco's Tusker, Unicorn, Gecko and Makhna tire brands to Starco's specification, while at the same time expanding the factory's volume, Starco said.
"We see great potential to develop a partnership with Sun Tyre, immediately for our industrial segment, but also for other segments," Starco CEO Richard Todd said. "We will maintain sales and distribution of our solid tyre ranges as the market knows it today."
Customers will experience no change, as the product and sales and distribution activities will remain as today, Starco said. Both parties are committed to grow Starco's industrial segment and become an even stronger partner for the original equipment manufacturers and key aftermarket distributors.
Sun Tyre President Joseph Fernando called this deal an "exciting opportunity that will bring anticipated synergy to our manufacturing facilities."
Taiwan's Kenda acquired Starco in October 2017.
Starco operates wheel factories in the United Kingdom, Croatia, and China, as well as eight sales and distribution locations across Europe.
Kenda said at the time the deal gives Kenda — a Starco supplier since 1982 — expertise in applications, polyurethanes and wheel design, and will help enhance Kenda's position in Europe.
Separately, Starco said its Swiss subsidiary recently began distributing Kenda-brand tires to customers throughout Switzerland.