Apollo formally acquires Dunlop, but problems likely to persist


Indian tyre giant Apollo Tyres this week formally acquired Dunlop Tyres International, the parent company of Dunlop Zimbabwe, but there is likely to be no immediate relief for the beleaguered local manufacturer because its problems are largely internal.

The deal, worth about US$200 million, saw Apollo acquire Dunlop’s operations in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe. Dunlop South Africa has manufacturing units in Durban and Ladysmith while Dunlop Zimbabwe has plants in Bulawayo and Harare.

Onkar Kanwar, chairman and managing director of Apollo Tyres, said the acquisition of Dunlop marked the company’s global expansion which would see the widening of its customer base and an increase in exports.

“This is our springboard into the global arena,” he said in a press release. “We will use the Dunlop distribution channels for our exports and to take the Apollo brand into Africa, even as we bring in brands made by Dunlop for our Indian customers.”

Apollo has 4 500 dealerships in India while Dunlop has over 230.

The acquisition will also give Apollo a shareholding in National Tyre Services, a major tyre distributor and re-treading company in Zimbabwe.

While confirming the conclusion of the deal, Dunlop Zimbabwe chairman, Boyman Mancama whose board met in Bulawayo on Tuesday, said it was not likely to change the company’s operations because the local tyre manufacturer’s problems were internal.

He said the company was being hampered by a shortage of foreign currency to buy raw materials and until there was a change in the availability of foreign currency it would continue to operate below capacity.

Dunlop is currently operating for two, three or five days a week, depending on the availability of raw materials.



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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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