NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Bridgestone Corp. is exploring opportunities to sell its Firestone Building Products Co. L.L.C. subsidiary, whose principal business is elastomeric roofing materials, in a move that would raise money at a time when COVID-19 is causing problems.
Bridgestone is confirming the potential for a sale, but is not providing much more detail.
"Bridgestone is exploring a number of opportunities to unlock greater value for our employees, customers and shareholders," Bridgestone Americas Inc. said. The building products division falls under the auspices of Bridgestone Americas, which is based in Nashville.
"Our Firestone Building Products (FSBP) business is a leader in commercial roofing solutions worldwide with notable growth potential. We are considering various options to accelerate Bridgestone's mobility solutions journey and support FSBP's long-term growth plan," a spokesperson said, declining to comment further on the matter.
FSBP's roofing systems sells a range of roofing materials made of ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) and styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS).
The business' divisions include GenFlex, GenTite Residential Roofing Systems and Gaco.
While Bridgestone is remaining mum about the potential for a sale, published reports indicate the process is well along with two potential suitors at this point: Kingspan Group P.L.C. and Standard Industries Inc.
Carlisle Cos. Inc. also has an interest, Bloomberg reported. All three already are major players in the roofing business.
Bridgestone, the world's No. 2 maker of tires, sees the potential sale of FSBP as a way to raise money at a time where the company also is cutting costs to help manage the crisis.
Any move to divest the building products unit comes as Bridgestone is facing an annual loss for the first time in about 70 years, a situation tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.