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Insurance Company Readies for Court Battle with Goodyear

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Ukraine insurance company PZU is taking Goodyear to court after the tiremaker, which is a majority shareholder in Polish tire company Dbica, reportedly failed to deliver financial agreements and other documents.

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The insurer, which itself holds a minority stake in Dbica, asked the company to provide the documents after questions arose about whether Goodyear (which own 66% of Dbica’s shares) is rewarding minority shareholders fairly or perhaps funneling profits to other parts of the business group. A court ordered Dbica on July 14 to deliver the information to PZU by Aug. 2 in order to clarify the situation.

PZU said since the tiremaker has failed to deliver the documents thus far, it feels it has no other option but to take Goodyear to court. “Up until now we have been very restrained, but we have run out of options and have decided to take legal steps,” Piotr Góralewski, who heads PZU asset management, told the Warsaw Business Journal.

A spokesperson for Goodyear said, "During Goodyear’s 15-year relationship with TC Debica, the number of tires manufactured daily at the plant has nearly doubled, and TC Debica has evolved from being a largely domestic manufacturer of low-value-added products to a provider of increasingly high-value-added tires to markets throughout Europe and elsewhere in the world. It is obvious that Goodyear is committed to TC Debica’s long-term strength and profitability, and that TC Debica would be a much smaller and regional tire manufacturer if not for its relationship with Goodyear.

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"Regarding transactions between Goodyear and TC Debica, it is important to assign appropriate value to Goodyear’s significant financial and technological contributions to TC Debica, which benefit the entire TC Debica operation. In addition, the TC Debica Supervisory Board, which includes representatives recommended by the minority shareholders, established a special committee two years ago to review the transactions between TC Debica and Goodyear and the transfer pricing policy applied in them. The committee found no discrepancies, and we do not understand the rationale for PZU to insist on the same review." 

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