ERJ staff report (TB)
Findlay, Ohio -- Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has agreed to buy the 50-percent stake in the Cooper Kenda Tire Manufacturing (Kunshan) Co. Ltd. joint venture in China it doesn't already own from Taiwan's Kenda Rubber Mfg. Co. Ltd. for $116.5 million.
Cooper anticipates completing the deal by March 15, at which time Cooper will rename the venture Cooper Kunshan Tire, contingent upon government approval.
The $200 million Cooper-Kenda joint venture car and light truck tyre plant started production in early 2007 after a construction project of about 18 months. Cooper was guaranteed the plant's entire output for the venture's first five years.
â€œOur new ownership position will allow us to further capitalise on the prospects we see for continued growth and competitiveness,â€ said Hal Miller, corporate vice president and president of Cooper's international tyre segment.
The plant, in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, has a nameplate capacity of 12,000 units a year with 700 employees. Its output is exported to North America and Europe, Cooper said, but the unit is well positioned to supply the domestic market as well.
The plant also lists capacity for farm and industrial tyres.
Cooper's other involvement in China is its majority-owned Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Co. Ltd. in Rongcheng City, Shandong Province. That unit makes primarily passenger, light truck and medium truck tyres with capacity for farm and small OTR yires also listed.
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Press release from Cooper Tire