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Yokohama, Kumho consider collaboration

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TOKYO—Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. and South Korea's Kumho Tire Co. Inc. have agreed to discuss possible technology exchanges and cross ownership.

The two firms, the world's eighth and 12th largest tire makers, disclosed they signed a memorandum of understanding on Nov. 29 covering the various aspects of their interest.

By exchanging technology, the companies “aim to increase their competitiveness and enhance their growth potential ... by sharing R&D resources and making more effective use of them through joint research and development on tires and related technologies,” Yokohama said.

They also plan to enter into a capital alliance based on cross-shareholdings.

Yokohama and Kumho Tire will start discussions on the details of the alliance—including methods for obtaining each other's shares, the size of shareholdings and the timing of the acquisition—with the aim of signing a legally binding contract as early as possible.