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Italy's Brembo raises stake in Pirelli to 4.99%, ends purchases

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Brembo is seen at its headquarters in Bergamo, Italy October 7, 2019. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian brake maker Brembo BRBI.MI said on Wednesday it would not buy additional shares in tyremaker Pirelli PIRC.MI after increasing its stake to almost 5%.

Brembo, which makes brakes for automakers including Ferrari RACE.MI and Tesla TSLA.O as well as several Formula One teams, said it now held a 4.99% stake in Pirelli, both directly and indirectly through its Nuova FourB parent company, and that it had completed the purchase process.

Brembo’s Executive Deputy Chairman Matteo Tiraboschi on Wednesday told Reuters the company had no plans to further increase its holding at the moment, and had no desire to play a role in Pirelli’s governance.

“We have made an investment, which we had decided on before the COVID-19 outbreak, in a company that we know and greatly respect, with a market positioning which is very similar to our own,” he said.

Brembo said in March that it had bought a 2.43% stake in Pirelli with “a non-speculative, long-term approach”.

The surprise move raised speculation it could be the first step towards a future integration of the two groups - both focused on premium market segments - to create an Italian heavyweight in car parts supply.

Pirelli, whose tyres are used by Formula One racing teams and automakers such as BMW BMWG.DE and Audi NSUG.DE, was not available for comment.

Pirelli is controlled by China’s ChemChina and Silk Road Fund, which jointly hold about 46% and are linked by a shareholder agreement expiring in 2023 to Camfin, the investment vehicle of Pirelli Chief Eexecutive Marco Tronchetti Porvera, which owns a stake just above 10%.

Tronchetti Porvera previously said there were no plans for a merger with Brembo and moved on to bolster his influence over the tyremaker with Camfin in May agreeing with China’s Niu family to create a joint venture that could allow it to control an 18% stake in Pirelli.

Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; editing by James Mackenzie, Emelia Sithole-Matarise, Kirsten Donovan

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