OSAKA, Japan (Oct. 22, 2010)—Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. has agreed to buy Malaysian tire maker Silverstone Bhd. for about $155 million and plans to produce Toyo- and Nitto-brand tires at the firm's plant in Kamunting, north of Kuala Lumpur.
Toyo said the deal fits into its plan to become a serious player in the fast-growing Southeast Asia market. Toyo will acquire Silverstone by buying the company's stock for about 75 cents per share. Transfer of the stock is expected by late January 2011, Toyo said.
Silverstone reported sales of about $117 million last year with net earnings of $3.5 million.
The plant will be Toyo's first in Asia outside of Japan. Toyo recently broke ground on a $105 million car and light truck tire plant in Zhangjiang City, China, that should be on stream by early 2012.
Silverstone's 22-year-old plant in Perak Province has capacity for car, light truck, medium truck, farm and industrial tires. Capacity is listed at more than 2.6 million units a year, with 650 workers.
Toyo said it plans to “further improve the quality of the Silverstone-brand tire, with the goal of expanding sales throughout Asia.” Toyo also plans to build an export network centered on Asia.
Silverstone operates a chain one-stop tire sales and service centers in southern Malaysia—known as Silverstone International Motorsports Auto Centres—retailing Silverstone's range of car tires and providing automotive services.