Malaysia's Lion Group, owner of the Malaysian tire manufacturer Silverstone Bhd is selling the Silverstone tire brand to Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. of Japan. According to press reports, Lion Forest Industries Bhd, the Lion Group company that holds 100% of Silverstone or 203.88million shares of RM1 each in Silverstone Corp. Bhd. Seeks to dispose the whole amount for RM462million (SG$192.333mil) to Toyo Tire.
The purpose of the sale is that Lion Group wishes to realise its investment and unlock the value in Silverstone and wants to use part of the proceeds to settle an inter-company debt amounting to RM22.5million as at 30th June 2010. In other words, Lion Group wants to make a decent RM140million in cash from the sale as well as pay off some cash advances to the parent company. This gain will be reflected in Lion Forest's financial year ending 30th June 2011 accounts, which translates to an increase in earnings of 0.60sen per share.
The report also states that Lion Group is consolidating its businesses and wants to put more focus on its steel and retail businesses. Lion Group is one of Malaysia's key steel manufacturing players. We all know what Toyo is known for; their tires like the Proxes R888 especially as well as their industrial rubber, soft and rigid polyurethane products and is listed on the Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya stock exchanges. It is the fourth largest tire manufacturer in Japan. Toyo has a market capitalization of US$513million and expects to fund the takeover of Silverstone Tires through internal funds.
Silverstone is a surprisingly profitable business entity. It saw its net profit double to RM33.57mil for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2010 for the previous financial year and its net asset stood at RM285.67mil for the same period.
Silverstone Tires will be Toyo Tire’s first cross-border acquisition as it seeks to make a full-scale entry into the South East Asia market. It is also busy with its global expansion as work on the third phase expansion of the Toyo Tire North America Manufacturing Inc facility in the United States is ongoing and it is in the midst of constructing a tire manufacturing plant in China. With Silverstone's manufacturing facilities, Toyo plans to commence production of Toyo and Nitto tires in Silverstone as soon as possible as use Malaysia as its export distribution hub for Asia. It's about time, as Nitto, well known for their drag tires in the United States made their presence official here in this part of the world.
Toyo had also issued a statement that it aimed to improve the quality of the Silverstone brand as well as expand its sales too. Silverstone exports tire to more than 60 countries and has an annual production capacity of about 3million tires in Malaysia.
Would this mean cheaper Toyo and Nitto tires for us over here in South East Asia? Or more expensive Silverstones?