ITMA latest news

Kenda Global Expansion Continues with Announcement of Starco Acquisition

October 6th, 2017

Kenda continues its global expansion today with the acquisition of Starco Europe. Besides a good cultural, organizational and strategic fit, both companies see significant long-term opportunities. Kenda has been a Starco supplier since 1982 and the relationship between the two parties has been strengthened and developed ever since. Over the last 12 months a series of meetings determined a clear willingness from both Kenda and Starco to take the partnership to another level.

“We recently launched our Focus on Europe strategy…the acquisition of Starco is a natural step to more quickly establish a platform which gives Kenda a better access to the market in this region. Kenda has strong market share in USA in trailer, lawn and garden, golf car, utility vehicle tire and would like to grow its market share in these areas through the acquisition of Starco, who is one of the leading player in this area in Europe”, says Jimmy Yang, Vice Chairman of Kenda Rubber Ind., Ltd., President of Kenda USA.

The Starco Executive Management team will report to Kenda USA. The two companies see many strategic and operational opportunities. Besides a good cultural, organizational and strategic fit, there are significant long-term synergies, and opportunities when it comes to engineering, market insight, supply chain and shared customer portfolio.

The aim is to benefit from these synergies and unleash the joint potential, growing both companies in North America and Europe.

“I see many opportunities. For instance, both companies get a stronger global presence, improving the distribution chain and gaining further market insight. Kenda gains new opportunities in Europe and Starco in the US. This will allow us to serve customers globally,” states Richard Todd, Chief Executive Officer at Starco.

Starco will continue to operate in the same segments and markets as today and plans to maintain current supplier base and hence offer the same broad and strong product offerings. “Existing supplier partnerships will remain key and the plan will be to continue to develop these relationships even further” adds Todd. Long term becoming part of the Kenda Group will strengthen Starco’s product portfolio and global service capabilities to customers.

“By joining forces, we believe we can achieve global market leadership in various market segments – today we serve some of the same OEMs, the same type of customers and we believe our service and offering to them will be even better. Kenda will remain royal and committed to the current Kenda customers.” elaborates Yang.

Starco’s specialist knowhow about various applications, polyurethane expertise and wheel design combined with Kenda’s high level of tyre development will give the group a unique position in the market.

“We have been discussing strategic and operational opportunities for quite some time. The plan is to share market knowledge to strengthen our position, grow market share and perhaps even enter new markets together,” says Todd.

Starco does not plan any organizational changes or redundancies related to this acquisition. “It’s very exciting – and we all look forward to starting this new journey together,” says Todd.