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Brussels, 25 February 2009

State aid: Commission approves €7.4 million investment aid to Pirelli for tyre plant in Piemonte, Italy

The European Commission has authorised, under the EC Treaty’s rules on state aid, €7.4 million of aid to Pirelli Industrie Pneumatici S.r.l. (Pirelli Tyre S.p.A.) for an initial investment project in Settimo Torinese. The project is aimed at extending the existing plant of Pirelli and introducing new innovative products. The investment should safeguard 900 jobs and facilitate the creation of a pole for innovation and production in the area. The project is in line with EU Regional Aid Guidelines (see IP/05/1653) because it will contribute to regional development without unduly distorting competition.

EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes underlined that "this relatively small amount of aid should help secure more than 900 jobs in an assisted region and contribute to the creation of a centre of excellence for the development and manufacture of high quality specialist tyres".

The project, which should be finalised by 2010, consists of extending the existing Pirelli plant and in regrouping Pirelli's activities from two different facilities located in the same area. The new plant will produce highly innovative tyres mostly for super cars and luxury cars.

The Commission concluded that the aid was in line with EU Regional Aid Guidelines, because its positive contributions to regional development clearly outweigh any potential distortions of competition. In particular, 900 jobs are expected to be maintained due to the investment and the plant should attract different research and development projects to be carried out in association with Politecnico di Torino and thereby contribute to the establishment of a pole for innovation and technology in the area.

The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number NN 381/2008 in the State Aid Register on the DG Competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News.

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