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Singer’s Elliott Builds Position in Finnish Tiremaker Nokian

Ed Hammond, Scott Deveau and Daniele Lepido

(Bloomberg) -- Elliott Management Corp. has built a stake in Finland’s Nokian Renkaat Oyj and plans to push for changes at the maker of tires for cars and trucks, people familiar with the matter said.

The activist firm owns close to 5% of Nokian Renkaat, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Elliott, which is still deliberating its plan for the investment and hasn’t yet contacted management, is considering a range of options including potentially pushing for a strategic review, they said.

Shares of Nokian Renkaat have fallen 17% over the past year, giving the company a market value of about 3.5 billion euros ($3.7 billion).

Nokian Renkaat released 2020 financial guidance last week that was below analysts’ expectations. It forecasts revenue will fall this year and operating profit will be “significantly below” last year’s levels, the company said. It blamed a soft tire market in Europe and tepid winter tire sales.

Representatives for Elliott and Nokian Renkaat declined to comment.

Nokian Renkaat has long been speculated as potential takeover target for rivals. Earlier this month, the U.K.’s Mail on Sunday reported stock-market chatter that Italian tiremaker Pirelli & C. SpA was considering a deal for Nokian Renkaat. Pirelli, which is controlled by state-owned ChemChina, said the rumor is baseless.

(Updates with details of Elliott investment in second paragraph)

--With assistance from Kati Pohjanpalo.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ed Hammond in New York at ehammond12@bloomberg.net;Scott Deveau in New York at sdeveau2@bloomberg.net;Daniele Lepido in Milan at dlepido1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Hauck at dhauck1@bloomberg.net, ;Liana Baker at lbaker75@bloomberg.net, Ben Scent, Aaron Kirchfeld

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