German tyre and car parts maker Continental AG said on Friday it has increased its stake in the tyre business of Malaysian conglomerate Sime Darby and now holds a majority of the unit, Reuters reported.

According to the report, the German company said it had lifted its stake in Sime's SDC Tyre Sdn Bhd to 51% from 30%, giving it control of the Malaysian company and access to the nine other markets of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Reuters noted that Continental, the world's fourth-largest tyre maker, bought the original 30% stake for $31 million in February but said it gave no financial details of the latest deal.

Continental chairman Manfred Wennemer has said the company was aiming for a 20% share of the ASEAN tyre market, which sees annual sales of more than 29 million car tyres, more than twice the yearly volume in China, the Reuters report added.

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