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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Tokyo Stock Exchange  >  Bridgestone Corporation    5108   JP3830800003

BRIDGESTONE CORPORATION

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France to fight 'appalling' Bridgestone plant closure: finance minister

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09/17/2020 | 09:11am EDT
Japan's Bridgestone to close tire factory in Bethune due to low demand

The French government is looking into options to try to prevent the closure of a Bridgestone tyre plant in northern France by its Japanese owner, and save jobs, finance minister Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday.

Bridgestone said on Wednesday that it would begin talks to close the factory in Bethune, which employs 863 people, in the face of weak demand for low-profile tyres, its main product.

"Bridgestone took an appalling decision. The method is appalling and the consequences are appalling and we are going to fight," Le Maire told CNews television.

French President Emmanuel Macron's government, which has launched a 100-billion-euro ($118 billion) recovery plan to boost growth has made jobs a key priority.

France suffered one of the deepest downturns in Europe in the first half of this year as the government put the country under one of the continent's strictest lockdowns to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

At the Bethune plant, Bridgestone employee Xavier Davrin was in shock. "I have been working here for 26 years and I had 15 more years to do (until retirement). We were the last ones to be informed (of the closure). It's a huge blow. I worry about the future," he said.

Bridgestone's move was "brutal", French labour minister Elisabeth Borne and junior economy minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said in a joint statement issued on Wednesday. The company was to blame for the situation as it had "largely disinvested from the Bethune plant for many years, to the benefit of its other European plants," they said.

Jean-Luc Ruckebusch, a CGT union representative at the Bethune plant, agreed: "Everything was done by Bridgestone to kill the Bethune plant. We will do everything we can to fight"

French officials have urged the company to look at alternative options for the factory, which has a production capacity of about 17,000 tyres.

"We are going to fight for a production that will be more attractive and review other options," Le Maire told CNews, adding that the state would also look at ways to "re-industrialise" the plant so that jobs be protected.

Bridgestone spokesman Fusamaro Iijima, in response to Le Maire's comments on Thursday, said the company would hold negotiations with representatives of local employees.

"We would like to hold talks sincerely and carefully. We aim to do our utmost so that the impact on the local community will be minimised," Iijima told Reuters.

($1 = 0.8475 euros)

By Dominique Vidalon and Kiyoshi Takenaka

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Financials
Sales 2020 3 009 B 28 502 M 28 502 M
Net income 2020 110 B 1 044 M 1 044 M
Net cash 2020 22 295 M 211 M 211 M
P/E ratio 2020 21,2x
Yield 2020 4,82%
Capitalization 2 336 B 22 127 M 22 125 M
EV / Sales 2020 0,77x
EV / Sales 2021 0,72x
Nbr of Employees 143 589
Free-Float 79,8%
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Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 12
Average target price 3 686,36 JPY
Last Close Price 3 317,00 JPY
Spread / Highest target 22,1%
Spread / Average Target 11,1%
Spread / Lowest Target -3,53%
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NameTitle
Shuichi Ishibashi Chief Executive Officer & Director
Akihiro Eto President, Chief Operating Officer & Director
Masaaki Tsuya Chairman
Masato Sakano Chief Technology Officer
Hideo Hara Director
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