LONDON—Yokohama Rubber Co. reportedly is discussing the acquisition of Prometeon Tire Group (PTG), two separate sources have confirmed to European Rubber Journal. 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, a source close to PTG minority shareholder Aeolus Tyres said negotiations were ongoing, but declined to elaborate.
"YRC have signed a 'no shop' (exclusivity) contract with PTG, and are now conducting a thorough due diligence," another contact said, 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."
With four tire plants across Brazil, Egypt and Turkey, PTG would complement YRC's $1.18 billion acquisition of agricultural tires manufacturer ATG (Alliance Tire Group) in July 2016.
While the ATG acquisition has been a success for Yokohama, an industry watcher explained that Yokohama still is 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.
Today, Prometeon is 52 percent owned by TP Industrial Holding (which, in turn, is owned by Marco Polo International Italy), 38 percent by CINDA (a Chinese International Investment company) and 10 percent by Aeolus.
PTG declined to comment on the developments. Yokohama officials could not be reached immediately for comment.