KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (Feb. 2)—Lion Forest Industries Bhd., a unit of Malaysia's Lion Group, is taking over ownership of Lion's Silverstone Corp. Bhd. tire company, in a deal valued at $59 million.
The deal reportedly will bring needed cash and financing to support Silverstone's push internationally. Lion Group only recently orchestrated a joint venture agreement with China's Shandong LuHe Group Co. Ltd. to make Silverstone-brand tires in China for the Chinese market. Lion Forest subsidiary Lion Rubber Industries Sdn. Bhd. is listed as the majority owner of that venture.
The Silverstone-Lion Forest deal involves several Lion Group companies and covers ownership of several Silverstone units, including Silverstone Polymer Industries Sdn. Bhd. and Silverstone Tyreplus Pty. Ltd. of Australia.
Lion Group has been in the foundry and steel-making business for 75 years, branching out along the way into other industries, including motor, tire, computer and communication, agricultural products, retailing, property and services.
Lion Group reported tire sales—generated by Silverstone and Dong Feng Lion Tyre—of $125.5 million in 2003, ranking it 54th among the world's largest tire makers.