ROME (Reuters) - The long-serving chief executive of Pirelli has warned that the tyremaker's independence is at stake because of the growing influence of its Chinese shareholder Sinochem, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Pirelli CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera told government officials in Rome on Tuesday that Sinochem was trying to interfere with Pirelli's management in ways forbidden by an agreement reached when it bought its stake in 2015, the report added.
China's Sinochem has a 37% stake in Pirelli, while Tronchetti Provera's vehicle Camfin owns 14%.
Sinochem representatives declined to comment on the report on Tuesday. There was no immediate comment from Pirelli.
The Italian government, which is assessing Pirelli's new shareholder agreement between Sinochem and Camfin, is concerned it would allow Sinochem to appoint more board members and potentially choose future CEOs, two sources told Reuters last month.
Italy's right-wing government has to approve the renewed shareholders agreement scheme under "Golden Power" rules aimed at protecting assets deemed strategic for the country, at a time when relations between China and Western countries have entered a tenser phase.
Rome is expected to make its decision by late June, the sources told Reuters.
(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; Writing by Keith Weir)