The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is to acquire the outstanding shares in Sava Tires d.o.o., a joint venture tyre manufacturing company in Kranj, Slovenia. Goodyear will exercise a pre-existing option and purchase the remaining 20 percent of Sava Tires owned by Slovenia's Sava d.d. for approximately $52 million. The transaction is expected to be completed in June. Goodyear's stake in Sava Tires is held by its 75 percent-owned Goodyear Dunlop Tires Europe affiliate.
Goodyear has invested over $100 million at the Kranj plant since buying an initial 60 percent stake in 1998, said said Jarro Kaplan, president of Goodyear's Eastern Europe, Africa and Middle East business unit. Goodyear bought a further 20 percent in 2000. Kaplan added that Sava Tires manufactured more than seven million tyres for cars, light trucks and commercial vehicles in 2003. It exported more than 80 percent of its production to 70 countries. The majority of its exports go to other European countries, he added.
Goodyear has three additional tyre manufacturing plants in eastern Europe: in Debica, Poland, which now manufactures more than 15 million tyres a year; and in Izmit and Adapazari in Turkey, which produce seven million tyres a year between them.
In 2004, said Goodyear, its European-based tyre businesses expect to manufacture more than 84 million tyres, about 40 percent of which are expected to be produced in low-cost facilities.
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Sava Tires (Slovenia) website (no news of this story on 7 April)