Pirelli’s shareholder agreement with Chinese investors not to be renewed

Pirelli, a prominent Italian tyre manufacturer, recently announced a notable development in its corporate structure. The company revealed that its major Chinese investors, Sinochem and Silk Road Fund, have chosen not to extend their collaborative agreement regarding certain key matters at the tyre-making giant. These investors hold substantial stakes in Pirelli, with Sinochem having a 37% stake and Silk Road Fund a 9% stake. This collaborative shareholder agreement, initially established in 2020, was a strategic move to synchronize their positions and votes concerning particular crucial issues concerning Pirelli.

One significant aspect of this agreement was Silk Road Fund’s commitment to align its votes with Sinochem’s at Pirelli’s shareholder meetings, accounting for a 5% stake out of their combined 9% ownership. However, as the agreement reached its predetermined termination date on September 29, it has ceased to be in effect. Although Pirelli made this announcement, the precise reasons behind the investors’ decision to not renew the agreement were not provided.

It’s important to note that Sinochem, a state-owned entity, has a distinct governance agreement with another influential investor in Pirelli, Camfin. Camfin represents the interests of Marco Tronchetti Provera, a notable Italian entrepreneur who has held a leadership role at Pirelli since 1992 and currently serves as the executive vice chairman.

Earlier this year, the Italian government exercised its “golden power” legislation, a mechanism designed to safeguard vital national assets, to impose conditions on the potential renewal of the governance pact between Sinochem and Camfin.

This governmental intervention significantly impacted Pirelli’s governance dynamics, fortifying Camfin’s influence over the company. Despite Camfin owning a 14.1% stake in Pirelli, the Italian government’s actions strengthened its role within the company.

Pirelli is renowned not only for its consumer tyre business but also as a significant tyre supplier for Formula One motor racing, further elevating the importance of these governance shifts within the company. However, the exact implications of this recent decision by Sinochem and Silk Road Fund on Pirelli’s future strategic direction remain to be seen.

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