PARIS/MILAN (Reuters) – Europe’s auto-market recovery gained a firmer footing in March, industry data showed on Thursday, as a sharp recovery in some mid-market brands eclipsed growth in no-frills “crisis cars”.
After months of hesitant growth, there were solid gains in the five biggest markets: Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Spain, as consumer confidence improves on the back of greater job security, lower energy prices and the EU’s money-printing stimulus program.
MILAN (Reuters) – A $6.4 billion all-cash offer from Italian holding company Exor (EXOR.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for Bermuda-based reinsurer PartnerRe (PRE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has disrupted plans by Axis Capital Holdings (AXS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to merge with its rival and could end up triggering a bidding war.
In January, Axis and PartnerRe agreed on an $11 billion all-share deal to create one of the world’s largest reinsurers, in a deal meant to close in the second half of this year.
MILAN (Reuters) – Italian tyre maker Pirelli (PECI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has a strong future with owner-to-be China National Chemical Corp and is not talking to others about a possible counterbid, CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.
ChemChina on Sunday agreed to become the majority owner of the world’s fifth-largest tyre maker as part of a multi-layered 7.3 billion-euro ($8 billion) deal, putting one of Italy’s oldest household names in Chinese hands.
MILAN (Reuters) – Italian tyre maker Pirelli (PECI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which is being bought by China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina), does not plan to pay a special dividend to its shareholders as part of the buyout plan, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.
ChemChina is to buy into the world’s fifth-largest tyre maker in a 7.3 billion-euro ($8 billion) deal, agreed with Pirelli’s biggest shareholders on Sunday, that will put the 143-year-old Italian firm in Chinese hands.
MILAN, March 19 (Reuters) – Shares in Pirelli
jumped as much as 5 percent on Thursday after an Italian daily
said the tyre maker was working on a revamp plan that includes
taking an Asian partner, the launch of a buyout offer and the
de-listing of the group.
According to Corriere della Sera, Pirelli Chairman Marco
Tronchetti Provera wants to bring on board an Asian shareholder
who would launch a buyout of the group together with some of the
company’s current investors. Pirelli would then be de-listed and
its structure would be reorganised, the report added.
GENEVA, March 4 (Reuters) – While southern Europe is
experiencing at best a patchy economic recovery, the outlook for
the region’s car makers is a little less bumpy thanks to the
weak euro, cheaper oil and labour reforms.
At the Geneva auto show, industry executives have warned
against overoptimism about what might yet be temporary windfalls
for Italy, Spain and Portugal, where a six-year slump brought
sales to the lowest in decades.
GENEVA, March 3 (Reuters) – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA)
could sell more than 10 percent of its
Ferrari subsidiary in a planned initial public offering, with a
view to boosting liquidity in the shares, Chief Executive Sergio
Marchionne said on Tuesday.
Marchionne said in October that he would spin off Ferrari
by selling a 10 percent stake via an IPO and distribute FCA’s
remaining 80 percent stake to its shareholders.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) expects to grow sales in western and central Europe by up to 2.5 percent this year but remains cautious on the part of the region which includes crisis-hit Russia, the head of its European operations said on Monday.
Didier Leroy said in eastern Europe, which for Toyota includes Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and the Caucasus, the carmaker expects to maintain market share and profitability this year.
ALBA, Italy, Feb 18 (Reuters) – The home of Nutella bid
farewell on Wednesday to Michele Ferrero, who turned a pastry
shop into a confectionery empire and became a rare symbol of
global success despite Italy’s declining economic fortunes.
Ferrero, Italy’s richest man, died on Saturday aged 89 at
his home in Monaco, after months of illness. He was buried in
his home town of Alba in northern Italy, where he took over his
father’s shop in 1949 and dreamt up the chocolate-hazelnut
spread, Ferrero Rocher pralines, Kinder eggs and Tic Tac mints.
MILAN, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Michele Ferrero, Italy’s richest
man and the owner of a global chocolate and confectionery
empire, died on Saturday aged 89, the company said.
His death opens the question of succession and potential
tie-ups at the family-controlled Ferrero group, which has sales
of around 8 billion euros ($9 billion) and continued to grow
through Italy’s longest recession since World War Two.