ERJ staff report (TB)
Cleveland, Ohio – Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. shareholders voted by a wide margin on 30 September to accept Apollo Tyres Ltd.'s $35 (€26) per share buyout offer, reports Tire Business, allowing the Indian company to move another step closer to completing its $2.5 billion (€1.84 billion) acquisition of Findlay, Ohio-based Cooper.
Shareholders representing 78 percent of Cooper's outstanding shares voted. Of those, 96 percent voted to approve the deal.
"We are pleased stockholders endorsed this compelling transaction," said Cooper Chairman, CEO and President Roy Armes.
Apollo and Cooper still have a few obstacles to overcome, however. In line with an arbitrator's decision, Apollo must reach new labor agreements with United Steelworkers Locals at Cooper's plants in Texarkana, Ark., and Findlay before the deal can be concluded. Cooper's plant in Tupelo, Miss., is a non-union facility.
The deal will create a company with about $6.6 billion (€4.9 billion) in annual revenue, making the new entity the world's seventh-largest tire maker.
The partners also are involved in a lawsuit in China brought by labour forces there at Cooper's joint venture plant in Rongcheng, China.
Most other regulatory hurdles have been overcome.
Apollo's $35 (€26) per share offer represents a premium of more than 40 percent over the share price's average trading value in the weeks and months prior to Apollo's 12 June offer.
Shareholders voted at a special meeting held Monday morning at the offices of the law firm Jones Day in Cleveland. The vote was open to shareholders of record as of 30 September.
Cooper shares have lost nearly 12 percent in value in trading during September after rising initially close to the offer price.