Bekaert S.A. is planning to close down a rubber-reinforcement products operation in Figline, which it acquired from Pirelli in late 2014.

Bekaert said the competitive position of the site had been under pressure in recent years, with "significantly higher cost structure" compared with other Bekaert plants in EMEA. While expressing regrets over the measure, Bekaert said its management could not see any other option to strengthen its market share in the European rubber reinforcement markets.

The Belgian group said June 22 that it had informed the works council of the Figline site and authorities about the decision, which will affect 318 jobs.

Bekaert acquired the Figline site from Pirelli, as part of a $38 million deal which also included the transfer of other Pirelli steel cord reinforcement sites in Turkey, Romania, Brazil and China to the company.