Goodyear acquisition strengthens US operations

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has agreed to acquire a US-based tyre manufacturer for $2.5 billion USD (approx. €2 billion).

Goodyear is acquiring Cooper Tire & Rubber Company – a parent company of a global family of companies that specialises in the design, manufacture, marketing and sale of passenger car, light truck, medium truck, motorcycle and racing tyres.

Cooper is headquartered in Findlay, Ohio, with manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design operations within its family of companies located in 15 countries around the world.

The transaction will expand Goodyear’s product offering by combining two portfolios of complementary brands. It will also create a stronger US-based manufacturer with increased presence in distribution and retail channels while combining both companies’ strengths in the highly profitable light truck and SUV product segments. The combined company will have approximately $17.5 billion USD in pro forma 2019 sales.

Under the terms of the transaction, which has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, Cooper shareholders will receive $41.75 USD per share in cash and a fixed exchange ratio of 0.907 shares of Goodyear common stock per Cooper share for a total equity value of approximately $2.8 billion USD.

Based on Goodyear’s closing stock price on 19 February 2021, the last trading day prior to the announcement, the implied cash and stock consideration to be received by Cooper shareholders is $54.36 USD per share, representing a premium of 24 per cent to Cooper’s closing stock price on 19 February 2021, and a premium of 36 per cent to Cooper’s 30-day volume weighted average price as of the close on February 19, 2021. Upon closing of the transaction, Goodyear shareholders will own approximately 84 per cent of the combined company and Cooper shareholders will own approximately 16 per cent.

Founded in 1914, Cooper is the fifth largest tyre manufacturer in North America by revenue with approximately 10,000 employees working in 15 countries worldwide. Cooper products are manufactured in 10 facilities around the globe, including wholly-owned and joint venture plants. The company’s portfolio of brands includes Cooper, Mastercraft, Roadmaster and Mickey Thompson.

“This is an exciting and transformational day for our companies,” said Goodyear Chairman, CEO and President, Richard J. Kramer.

“The addition of Cooper’s complementary tire product portfolio and highly capable manufacturing assets, coupled with Goodyear’s technology and industry leading distribution, provides the combined company with opportunities for improved cost efficiency and a broader offering for both companies’ retailer networks.

“We are confident this combination will enable us to provide enhanced service for our customers and consumers while delivering value for shareholders.

“We have a great deal of respect for Cooper’s team and share a commitment to integrity, quality, agility and teamwork. We look forward to welcoming Cooper to the Goodyear family,” he said.

“Cooper has transformed into a dynamic, consumer-driven organisation that has balanced traditional and emerging channels to increase demand for our products, while updating and effectively leveraging our global manufacturing footprint,” said Cooper President and CEO, Brad Hughes.

“I am extremely proud of what our team has accomplished over the past 107 years and am grateful to our talented employees for their contributions and commitment.

“This transaction marks the start of a new chapter for Cooper, which we are entering from a position of strength. We believe that it represents an attractive opportunity to maximise value for our shareholders, who will receive a meaningful premium as well as the opportunity to participate in the upside of the combined company. We look forward to the opportunity to combine Cooper’s considerable talents with Goodyear’s, and to be part of a bigger, stronger organisation that will be competitively well-positioned to win in the global tire industry.”

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