Shearman & Sterling represented Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd (“SRI”) in connection with the agreed dissolution of its international global alliance—including certain related operating and intellectual property agreements—with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and resolved a Paris-based ICC arbitration commenced by Goodyear relating to the global alliance.
In 1999, Goodyear, currently the world’s third largest tire maker based on revenue, and SRI, currently the world’s sixth largest tire maker, entered into an intricately constructed business alliance—with Shearman & Sterling representing SRI—that established six corporate entities in Europe, North America, and Asia to design, manufacture and market Dunlop and Goodyear brand tires. After nearly 15 years of operation, in January 2014, Goodyear sought to dissolve the alliance through ICC arbitration in Paris. On June 4, 2015 the parties achieved a tentative settlement under which, among other things, each party will divest in certain joint venture businesses, resulting in Goodyear making a net payment of $271 million to SRI and also repaying indebtedness of $55 million to SRI. In addition, certain joint purchasing and technology joint ventures will be dissolved and the parties will sell off current cross-shareholding in each other’s stock.