Regarding steel cord production, Pirelli & C. S.p.A. issued a statement regarding possible partnerships in response to a Tire Business inquiry about news reports from South Korea that indicated that country’s Hyosung Group had approached Pirelli about partnering in or taking over Pirelli’s tire reinforcement materials business, rubbernews.com informs. Pirelli operates steel cord plants in Figline Valdarno, Italy; Izmit, Turkey; Slatina, Romania; and joint venture plants in Yanzhou, China. It is closing capacity in Merzig, Germany and installing capacity for steel cord in Argentina. Steel cord represented 1.6 percent of Pirelli’s global sales last year, or roughly USD 125 M. Sales were down 19.5 percent from 2011. The Italian Group is also considering changes in its upstream assets, including an investment in synthetic rubber with its Russian partner Rosneft Oil Co. and “evaluating the possibility of partnerships” in its steel cord business.