HANOVER, Germany (Feb. 26)—Continental A.G. is paying $31 million for a 30-percent stake in the tire activities of Malaysia's diversified manufacturer Sime Darby Berhad, formalizing a deal the two companies agreed to initially in June. Sime Darby agreed to sell an additional 21-percent stake in the business—to be known as SDC Tyre Sdn. Bhd.—within two years, Continental said. Sime Darby Group's tire manufacturing is carried out by two companies, DMIB Berhad and Sime Tyres International Sdn. Bhd., which have combined annual production of around 4 million passenger, 1 million light truck and 300,000 medium truck tires. The agreement was signed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, by Tan Sri Nik Mohamed bin Nik Yaacob, CEO of Sime Darby Berhad, and Continental Chairman Manfred Wennemer. The deal means Conti can close the gap in its global production activities in Southeast Asia, Wennemer said. "Together with our partner, we now have a solid production and sales base which will make the ASEAN and Australian markets accessible to us and considerably increase our market share," he said.