By Katherine Clarkson
Pirelli tyres appears to be keeping its options open over a possible ‘friendly deal’ with German rival Continental.
Asked if the Italian tyres company still harboured any interest in a possible take-over, Chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera, replied: ‘It’s too early to say. But if the price is right, if we are asked to be part of a transaction, it could be interesting to analyse it – but only if it’s a friendly transaction.’
The comment made in a video interview handed to the Financial Times last week comes just days after Pirelli had denied any interested in merging the two tyres giants.
However, later that day, Pirelli issued a statement clarifying the early stage of its interest, which is rumoured to centre around the truck tyres unit: “With regard to comments on possible Pirelli transactions on Continental, the company declares that no transaction has been defined even along general outlines.
“The company also points out that, consistent with the financial rigor foreseen by the guidelines of the recent 2009-2011 industrial plan, any possible future transaction of a strategic nature would not comport any recourse to the market.”
However, while the press department’s statement may have played down Tronchetti Provera’s words, earlier in February Il Mondo claimed Pirelli executives had conducted – on separate occasions – meetings with JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Mediobanca and a number of advisers.