LONDON — Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. (YRC) is engaged in talks over the acquisition of Prometeon Tire Group (PTG), according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.
The contacts confirmed to European Rubber Journal — a sister publication of Tire Business — Italian media reports about a YRC move for the former Pirelli industrial tires unit. Both sources preferred not to be identified.
In a written statement to ERJ, a source close to PTG minority shareholder Aeolus Tyres said negotiations were ongoing on the subject – without elaborating further.
"YRC have signed a 'no shop' [exclusivity] contract with PTG and are now conducting a thorough due diligence," said another contact, adding that the deal was in a " fairly advanced" stage.
"This means that for a given period the seller will not talk to any other potential buyers and is committed to the buyer, provided the price and some other terms are accepted," the source explained.
With a pair of plants in Brazil and one each in Egypt and Turkey and estimated annual sales of about $900 million, PTG would complement YRC's $1.2 billion acquisition of off-road/agricultural tire maker Alliance Tire Group (ATG) in July 2016.
While the ATG acquisition has been a "big success," an industry watcher explained, Yokohama is still not well covered in eastern Europe or in South America. The former Pirelli unit, he believed, could help fill that gap.
Prometeon is 52% owned by TP Industrial Holding (which, in turn, is owned by Marco Polo International Italy), 38% by CINDA (a Chinese International Investment company) and 10% by Aeolus.
It was separated from Pirelli in 2017 as part of ChemChina's acquisition of controlling interest in Pirelli. Prometeon's primary output is commercial truck tires; it also produces a range of agricultural/farm tires.
PTG declined to comment on the developments. ERJ is contacting YRC for comments.