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Sumitomo denies reports on Goodyear split

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Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. is denying reports that its alliance with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is officially over. Goodyear, meanwhile, is not commenting.

In a statement on its corporate website, Sumitomo says:

“On June 1, 2015, certain media outlets reported on the supposed dissolution of the Global Alliance between Sumitomo Rubber Industries (hereinafter, SRI) and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (hereinafter, Goodyear). These reports are not based on any announcement that has been made by SRI or Goodyear and are therefore purely speculative in nature.

“While it is true that SRI and Goodyear are currently engaged in discussions concerning the possible dissolution of our alliance agreement and our joint ventures, no specific decisions have been made to such effect at this point in time. SRI will promptly announce any such decisions when and if they are made.”

Goodyear spokesperson Keith Price declined to answer questions on the reports, saying, "We don't comment on rumors."

On Feb. 13, 2014, Laura Thompson, executive vice president and chief financial officer for Goodyear, said the company had begun arbitration proceedings to dissolve its alliance with Sumitomo. She made the statement during an investor conference call following the release of Goodyear’s 2013 financial results.

For background, see: "Goodyear-Sumitomo alliance: Is the end near?" and "More on the possible Goodyear-Sumitomo split."

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