KORTRIJK, Belgium (Feb. 1, 2010)—Bridgestone Corp. is selling a large part of its steel cord business to N.V. Bekaert S.A., and the two parties have negotiated a long-term supply contract.
Bekaert is acquiring Bridgestone Metalpha Italia S.p.A. and Bridgestone (Huizhou) Steel Cord Co. Ltd. The share deal includes all of the personnel and assets of the two manufacturing sites. The deal doesn't include Bridgestone Metalpha in North America.
The transaction, with an enterprise value of approximately $97.4 million, is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2010.
Bridgestone said the sale will allow it to further increase its focus on developing innovative materials for use in the company's tire products within a more streamlined operation. At the same time, it will secure a stable supply of standard steel cord specifications from an external supplier with whom it has a strong relationship.
Bekaert has been a key supplier of steel cord to Bridgestone since many years. In addition to an existing steel cord supply arrangement between the two companies, Bridgestone and Bekaert in the past participated in a joint venture which developed and manufactured steel cord.