Cooper Tire ends buyout agreement with Apollo

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

FINDLAY, Ohio (AP) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is calling off its proposed $2.2 billion buyout by India's Apollo Tyres, a deal that would have created the world's seventh largest tire company.

The Findlay, Ohio, company said Monday that financing is no longer available and that it believes Apollo breached the terms of the agreement.

Apollo representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

The boards of both companies and Cooper shareholders had approved the buyout, but negotiations with the union representing Cooper employees became a sticking point.

Apollo sought a better price because of labor issues.

Cooper asserted that Apollo was delaying reaching an agreement with the union, and the U.S. company asked a Delaware court to compel Apollo to close the deal.

But the court concluded last month that Apollo did not breach its obligation to quickly reach a pact with the United Steelworkers union. An arbitrator ruled that Cooper and Apollo must create new agreements with the union.

Cooper did not further elaborate Monday on how it believes on how Apollo ignored terms of the deal. Cooper did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

The company did say that it's clear the deal signed in June will not close.

"The right thing for Cooper now is to focus on continuing to build our business," Chairman and CEO Roy Armes said in a statement from the company.

Shares of Cooper fell 6.6 percent, or $1.51, to $21.45 before markets opened Monday.