London – Yokohama Rubber Co. (YRC) is in talks over the acquisition of Prometeon Tire Group (PTG), two separate sources have informed ERJ.
The contacts confirmed Italian media reports about a YRC move for the former Pirelli industrial tires unit – though both 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,” he explained.
With four tire plants across Brazil, Egypt and Turkey, PTG would complement YRC’s €1.06-billion acquisition of agricultural tires manufacturer ATG (Alliance Tire Group) 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 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, though it also produces a range of agricultural/farm tires.
PTG declined to comment on the developments. ERJ is contacting YRC for comments.
Image source: PTG's YouTube video