At the end of 2017, two strong global tire manufacturers almost linked up to form a major player in the industry.
Qingdao Doublestar Industrial Co. Ltd. didn't give up, and in July finalized a deal to acquire Kumho Tire Co. Ltd. in a $607 million deal, giving it a 45 percent stake and control of South Korea's second-largest tire maker.
The pair form a strong combination, as Kumho's prominence in the passenger car radial segment combined with Doublestar's strong truck/bus presence will strengthen both respective global brands.
The combined company would generate about $3.56 billion in sales, making it No. 11 globally based on 2017 figures and within $60 million of the top 10, according to Rubber & Plastics News 2018 Global Tire Report.
Intense competition has forced Chinese tire companies to instead attempt to acquire established tire companies and Doublestar's deal is the second major example of such a strategy. In 2015, China National Chemical Corp. acquired Pirelli & C. S.p.A. for about $7.7 billion. Based in Milan, Italy, Pirelli's 2016 sales of $6.38 billion made it the fifth-largest tire company in the world based on Rubber & Plastics News' 2017 Global Tire Report. However, it fell to No. 6 in the latest edition.