A small but profitable portion of Bridgestone Corp.'s business that makes rubber and plastic construction products is up for sale.
The Tokyo-based tire maker is seeking bids for its Firestone Building Products division that uses various rubbers and polyolefin in the company's roofing products.
Bridgestone, for its part, is confirming the potential for a sale, but is not providing much more detail.
"Bridgestone is exploring a number of opportunities to unlock greater value for our employees, customers and shareholders," a Bridgestone Americas Inc. spokeswoman said in statement.
The building products division falls under Bridgestone Americas, which is based in Nashville.
"Our Firestone Building Products business is a leader in commercial roofing solutions worldwide with notable growth potential. We are considering various options to accelerate Bridgestone's mobility solutions journey and support FSBP's long-term growth plan," the spokeswoman said.
As of Dec. 9, no decisions have been made, according to the company.
"We have no further comment at this time," the statement reads.
Firestone Building Products roofing systems include the use of EPDM rubber and also thermoplastic polyolefins. Another approach uses styrene-butadiene-styrene. FSBP divisions include GenFlex, GenTite Residential Roofing Systems and Gaco.
While Bridgestone is mum about the potential for a sale, Bloomberg reports potential buyers as Kingspan Group plc, Standard Industries Inc. and Carlisle Cos. Inc.
Carlisle is a major player in rubber roofing, while the other two each have operations related to building products.
Bridgestone, as the world's second largest maker of tires, sees the potential sale of FSBP as a way to raise money at a time where the company also is cutting costs to help manage the crisis.
Any move to divest the building products unit comes as Bridgestone is facing an annual loss for the first time in about 70 years among the COVID-19 pandemic, the CEO of Bridgestone Corp. told Japan's Nikkei Asia news organization. Bridgestone also previously announced plans to close two tire plants in France and South Africa.
Published reports indicated the Firestone Building Products business could bring from $1.9 billion to $2.5 billion.