BIRMINGHAM, England (May 31) — ABN AMRO N.V. has agreed to buy a majority stake in Dunlop Aircraft Tyres Ltd.
The Dutch banking concern said its private equity business, ABN AMRO Capital, will pay an undisclosed sum for a 74.6-percent interest in the Birmingham-based aircraft tire maker. The deal is expected to be completed in June, subject to customary approvals.
Dunlop Aircraft Tyres employs 270 and makes more than 100,000 tires annually. The 90-year-old firm produces radial and bias tires for more than 276 different aircraft, from historic to modern passenger jet airliners.
ABN said Dunlop is one of four global players that specialize solely in aircraft tires and holds a strong niche position because regulation in the sector creates a high barrier to entry. The global market for tires made by Dunlop is estimated at $500 million annually, and has been growing at an average rate of 6 percent since the 1970s.
ABN expects that growth to continue, with demand to increase especially in Asia within the next few years.
Ian Edmondson, former Federal-Mogul Corp. vice president, will become chairman of Dunlop Aircraft Tyres when the deal is completed. Patrick Bulmer and Dominic Collier, who with Grant Paul-Florence coordinated the investment on behalf of ABN AMRO Capital, will join the tire maker´s board as nonexecutive directors.