KORTRIJK, Belgium (Jan. 7)—Tire cord and bead wire maker N.V. Bekaert S.A. has agreed to buy Slovakian steel wire maker Drotovna Droty A.S. and its sister company Drotovna Kordy A.S., which makes tire cord and bead wire, for an undisclosed price. The deal will allow Bekaert to raise its market share in central Europe and boost its competitive position in the region, the firm said. Drotovna Kordy has annual capacity for about 9,000 metric tons of tire cord and 8,000 tons of bead wire, while Drotovna Droty's capacity for steel wire is about 90,000 tons. The current owners, Penta Investments Ltd. and Majetkovy Holding A.S., decided to divest the units, set up in 1999 from a restructuring of the Drotovna company, according to a Bekaert statement. Both units, located in Hlohovek, have been undergoing rationalization of products and the work force. The deal is subject to approval by the Slovak Republic's anti-monopoly office and also depends on completion of the current rationalization program, Bekaert's statement said.