ERJ staff report (LMH)
Tire Business staff report
Findlay, Ohio -- Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has completed its $17 million acquisition of the assets of the former Trayal Corp. tyre plant in KruÅ¡evac, Serbia. v
The plant is idled while the company recruits employees, a Cooper Tire spokeswoman said.
With the acquisition completed, Cooper plans to start ramping up the 35-year-old car and light truck plant to get it back into production by the end of January. Cooper did not say what type of production or what brand the plant will produce initially.
Cooper earlier said it would spend about $67 million over three years to upgrade the plant-being renamed Cooper Tire Serbia-and expand its capacity to 3 million units annually.
The Findlay-based tyre maker concluded the deal with Serbian authorities overseeing the plant's financial affairs. The Serbian government is expected to support the project in several ways, the value of which could reach $13 million if certain goals are achieved, Cooper said.
Cooper Chairman, President and CEO Roy Armes said the company elected to invest in Serbia not only because of its significant economic potential, but also for its quality workforce, geographical advantages and Serbian government support.
The acquisition strengthens Cooper's presence in Europe and â€œdecidedly complementsâ€ the firm's worldwide operations, said Hal Miller, president of Cooper's International Tire Segment.
Cooper anticipates having â€œseveralâ€ hundred workers employed at the plant by the end of the month, growing eventually to 600 to 700 employees. KruÅ¡evac is roughly 125 miles south of Belgrade.
Cooper did not say what volume of sales it expects the plant to contribute, but did indicate that KruÅ¡evac provides an excellent location to supply tyres to the European and Russian markets.
Trayal, the successor to the tyre and rubber products maker Miloje Zakic, operates a second factory in KruÅ¡evac, making farm, industrial and two-wheeler tyres and tubes and other rubber products.
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Article from Tire Business