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Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) has acquired Apollo Tyres South Africa (ATSA), including the Ladysmith passenger tire plant and rights to the Dunlop brand, in a $60 million deal.

Apollo will retain the Durban plant, which manufactures truck and bus radial tires and off-highway tires used in the mining and construction industries.

“This partnership with SRI is a win-win situation for both organizations,” Onkar Kanwar, Apollo Tyres Chairman, said in a statement. “SRI gets a manufacturing location on the continent and control over the Dunlop brand, which they also use in many other countries across the world. Apollo retains one plant in South Africa and has the ability to develop further the markets for its global brands – Apollo and Vredestein.”

According to the statement, all ATSA employees will continue with that company. Apollo will retain the Durban plant and its employees.

Apollo Tyres will continue to sell Apollo, Vredestein and Regal brand tires in Africa while focusing on “creating and strengthening its own sales and distribution network across the continent,” the tiremaker stated. Both companies also will undertake contract manufacturing of their respective brands at each other’s facilities to have locally manufactured products available for the market.

“While we have two global brands – Apollo and Vredestein – which we are looking at expanding across the world, we had the brand rights for selling Dunlop brand only in 32 countries of Africa,” Kanwar said. “We have retained the manufacturing facility in Durban, as we would like to increase the presence of Apollo and Vredestein branded tires in Africa, which we have already been selling in South Africa for the past few years.”

Apollo acquired Durban, South Africa-based Dunlop Tyres International (later renamed Apollo Tyres South Africa) in 2006.

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