Pirelli & C. SpA, the world’s fifth largest tire maker and an Italian manufacturing legend, has been led for decades by Marco Tronchetti Provera – its 67 years old “father figure” – and also the company’s chairman and chief executive officer.
Tronchetti’s life has been entwined with the Italian tire maker for the past 30 years, since he married into the company. Now he reached an agreement that should protect his legacy, with the executive – considered as one of the last members of the old guard of Italian business making – seeking the help of China’s global ambitions. The deal would allow him to restructure his beloved company one final time. His ultimate target, according to his comments, Pirelli’s survival – albeit as a niche tiremaker that lacks his competitors’ larger size and resources. “For me, the achievement of my target was to provide a safe future for Pirelli” said Tronchetti in an interview.
The sale of Pirelli towards ChemChina – the government controlled chemical giant that produces anything you can imagine, from pesticides to latex or plastics – can be considered as Italy’s old business elite final farewell (they are the so-called Salotto Buono – in Italian means “fine salon”). The deal values Pirelli at 7.4 billion euros ($8 billion) and Tronchetti aims to marry the upscale technology used by Pirelli to the scale and growth possibilities of ChemChina’s Aeolus Tyre division. The Italian tiremaker would have a stake in the new company, providing the technology of its underrated truck-tire unit to Aeolus, while Pirelli itself would focus on producing and selling only top of the line car tires for brands such as Ferrari, McLaren and Bentley.