MILAN, Italy (Feb. 15) — Pirelli & C. S.p.A.´s board of directors are considering spinning off the firm´s tire business into a separate, publicly traded company, albeit still majority owned by Pirelli.
In disclosing its intention to explore options for a "better valuation" of its tire activities, Pirelli´s board said market conditions in the segments where Pirelli Tyres is active are "favorable" and therefore constitute the basis for further growth. The directors cited the high-performance tire sector, where they said the Pirelli brand is "recognized as a world leader."
The board has empowered Chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera and Managing Director Carlo Buora to "identify the best possible solutions for the realization" of obtaining a better valuation of the tire business.
The board said the actions to strengthen the firm´s finances and balance sheets will allow the company to focus on its various core businesses.
Analysts in Europe value the business at about $3.5 billion, according to various European media reports.
Pirelli´s tire business represents about 80 percent of Pirelli & C.´s sales and 95 percent of operating earnings, according to the firm´s nine-month financial report. Tire division sales for that period were about $3.4 billion.