KOBE, Japan—Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. is refuting media reports that SRI and Goodyear have dissolved their 16-year-long global business alliance, calling the reports “purely speculative in nature.”
Goodyear and SRI are involved in discussions concerning the possible dissolution of their alliance agreement and joint ventures, but SRI stressed that “no specific decisions have been made to such effect at this point in time.”
SRI did not identify which media reported on the dissolution. A separate search turned up a report by Nikkei Inc. reporting supposed details of the agreement.
Goodyear declined to comment.
The Akron-based tire maker disclosed in February 2014 that it was seeking to dissolve the companies' business alliance. At that point, Gooodyear asked the International Chamber of Commerce to arbitrate the dissolution.
Goodyear at that time said it decided to move on dissolving the alliance after determining SRI had engaged in “anticompetitive conduct in violation of applicable antitrust laws.”
Neither part has commented publicly in the interim on the nature of Goodyear's allegations.
The alliance dates to 1999, when Goodyear acquired 75-percent of SRI's manufacturing and sales assets in Europe and North America, which operate as Goodyear Dunlop Tires Europe B.V. and Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America Ltd.. The deal includes rights to the Dunlop brand in these markets.
The firms also operate joint ventures in Japan—75-percent owned by SRI—covering sales of the Goodyear and Dunlop brands to the Japanese original equipment and replacement markets, and other ventures covering technology and materials procurement.
Paris-based ICC is a global business organization that provides a forum for businesses and other organizations to examine and comprehend the nature and significance of shifts taking place in the world economy. The ICC offers commercial arbitration service in matters relating to entities doing business across frontiers.