MILAN, Italy—Pirelli & C. S.p.A. will sell its steel-cord business to Belgium's Bekaert S.A., considered the world's No. 1 independent steel-cord maker, for $350 million.
The business comprises five steel cord facilities, located in Italy, Turkey, Romania, China and Brazil, and represents annual sales of $410 million, according to the firms. The closing, subject to regulatory approvals, is expected in the second half of the year.
The deal will allow Pirelli to leave a business where it said it "lacks competitive scale" and instead focus its resources on higher-margin premium tire activities.
After the sale, Bekaert will continue to supply Pirelli long-term, and the companies intend to conduct joint product development to enhance research and development, Pirelli said, "ensuring that the transition to the new arrangement meshes smoothly with their respective growth and development plans."
The plants are located in Figline Valdarno, Italy; Slatina, Romania; Izmit, Turkey; Yanzhou, China; and Sumarè, Brazi. The deal includes all of the personnel and assets of the respective entities, Bekaert said.
Pirelli has been evaluating a possible sale or spinoff of the steel-cord business since mid-2013.