Mon, Mar 30, 2015 - Page 15 News List

ChemChina chairman says he hopes to re-list Pirelli on Italian stock exchange

Reuters, BEIJING

Pirelli & C SpA chief executive officer Marco Tronchetti Provera is pictured following an interview at the Pirelli headquarters in Milan, Italy, on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina, 中國化工) chairman Ren Jianxin (任建新) yesterday said he hopes to re-list Italy’s Pirelli & C SpA on the Italian stock exchange after his firm agreed earlier this month to acquire the world’s fifth-largest tire maker.

Ren also warned that a counter-bid for Pirelli would hurt the Italian firm’s investors and long-term strategy.

ChemChina has agreed to become majority owner of Pirelli as part of a multi-layered 7.3 billion euro (US$8 billion) deal, putting one of Italy’s oldest household names in Chinese hands.

“We were worried that due to cheap liquidity, there might be blind competition,” Ren told reporters. “But a counter-bid will hurt Pirelli investors and also its long-term strategy.”

On Thursday, Pirelli chief executive officer Marco Tronchetti Provera told Reuters his firm is not talking to others about a possible counter-bid.

Ren described his partnership with Tronchetti as a “very beautiful marriage” and said the Italian will be chief executive officer for the next five years, and after which, the Italian would select his successor.

In Thursday’s interview, Tronchetti said he might stand down before five years if the right successor could be found. He also said Pirelli might be re-listed within four years, though not necessarily in Milan.

The deal, agreed with Pirelli’s top shareholders last week, is the latest in a series of takeovers in Italy by Chinese buyers taking advantage of a weak euro just as Europe is slowly emerging from economic stagnation.

Ren said he does not want to see the Pirelli brand hurt by ChemChina’s investment.

The deal would give ChemChina access to technology to make premium tires which can be sold at higher margins, and give the Italian firm a boost in China, the world’s biggest auto market.

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