Brembo, Camfin sign shareholder agreement on Pirelli
- CEO's vehicle Camfin has 14.1% stake in Pirelli
- Brembo has 6% stake in Pirelli
- Pirelli top investor Sinochem has denied exit plan reports
- Camfin has separate shareholders agreement with Sinochem
MILAN, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Pirelli (PIRC.MI) investor Brembo (BRBI.MI) has signed an agreement to align its voting at the Italian tyre maker's shareholder meetings with that of fellow stakeholder Camfin, the two investors said on Tuesday.
The announcement comes two weeks after Pirelli's largest investor, Chinese state-owned group Sinochem, denied reports it was considering selling its 37% stake in the company that manufactures tyres for high-end carmakers such as Ferrari, Porsche and BMW, and is the sole supplier of those for Formula One.
Media reports had rekindled speculation of a change in the controlling structure in Pirelli, with some analysts saying Brembo could help Camfin build an alternative and stable group of controlling Italian shareholders for the company should Sinochem eventually decide to sell its stake.
Camfin, the vehicle of Pirelli Chief Executive and Executive Vice Chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera, has a 14.1% stake in the company and has options to buy a further 4.6%. Brakes manufacturer Brembo holds a 6% stake.
Pirelli has a market capitalisation of 4.85 billion euros ($5.1 billion).
A joint statement from Brembo and Camfin said they both support the principle of continuity in the governance, strategy and management of Pirelli.
"This agreement will permit the exploration of potential opportunities for the further growth and development of Camfin and Brembo leveraging the competencies of two great Italian companies," Tronchetti Provera said in the statement.
Brembo agreed that Tronchetti Provera and Camfin retain their role in guiding Pirelli's top management, including with the firm's "strategic options," the companies said.
The three-year agreement takes immediate effect and can be renewed for a further three-year period, they said.
Brembo Executive Chairman Matteo Tiraboschi said the deal confirmed his company's role as a long-term shareholder in Pirelli.
He has repeatedly said that M&A was key for companies like Brembo, which has a market cap of around 5 billion euros, to increase size and thus capacity to invest and innovate in the fast-changing automotive industry.
Camfin has a separate shareholder agreement with Sinochem, expiring in 2026.
Based on the agreement announced on Tuesday, if Brembo intends to buy additional shares in Pirelli, it will have to inform Camfin. If Camfin disagrees with the move, Brembo will still be allowed to purchase the shares, while Camfin will have the option to withdraw from the shareholder agreement.
($1 = 0.9436 euros)
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