Doublestar buys into Kumho Tire

By Zhu Wenqian and Xie Chuanjiao | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-15 07:04

Qingdao Doublestar Group, one of the oldest rubber companies and a leading tire manufacturer in China, may acquire a 42.01 percent stake in South Korean tiremaker Kumho Tire Co Inc, according to a Doublestar statement on Monday.

Shenzhen-listed Doublestar would invest about 955 billion won ($830 million) in the equity purchase, and if the president of Kumho Tire didn't exercise the preemptive right within 30 days, Doublestar would become the largest shareholder in Kumho Tire.

Doublestar said its executives are currently in South Korea, and it is inconvenient to comment and talk further about the details.

Founded in 1921, Doublestar had been a renowned sports shoes maker in China. In 2002, it underwent a major shift, and acquired tiremakers Huaqing Tire Co and Dongfeng Tire Co. The company later expanded into tire manufacturing and other sectors such as machinery and real estate.

Last year, Doublestar built the first smart factory worldwide to produce commercial vehicle tires, and it has supplied off-road tires for overseas auto companies. The company has also supplied tires to domestic automakers such as Chery Automobile Co, Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd and Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co.

Doublestar has two tire production plants-one in Qingdao, Shandong province, and the other in Shiyan, Hubei province. The manufacturer boasts an annual production capacity of 15 million units, and it exports to about 140 countries and regions.

Founded in 1960, Kumho Tire makes tires for SUVs, sedans and racing cars. With a research and development center in China, it has a large-scale production plant and over 40 percent of its output capacity in China.

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