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Groupe Michelin to sell wheel business

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Groupe Michelin is planning to sell its wheel business to German wheel company Menfro.

"For a number of years, Michelin has considered that the future prospects of this business, which is quite distinct from tire manufacturing, would be best served by a (company) whose core business is wheel-making," say Michelin officials.

"Although wheels and tires are closely related from a functional point of view, their respective manufacturing processes offer very limited synergy opportunities."

Michelin's wheel division includes four subsidiaries: Troyes, France-based Michelin Roues France; Michelin Kronprinz Werke, which is located in Solingren, Germany; Tekarsan, a Turkey-based unit; and Essen, Germany-based distribitor, Berger.

Mefro's 2004 sales totaled 160 million euros. Groupe Michelin did not disclose financial terms of the pending sale.

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