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The Deal: Cooper Tire Soars on $2.5 Billion Indian Buyout

NEW YORK (TheDeal) -- Cooper Tire & Rubber (CTB) surged Wednesday as India's Apollo Tyres Ltd. said it would acquire tire maker in a $2.5 billion deal that provides for access to the U.S. market and would create one of the largest companies in its industry.

Cooper Tire jumped 41% to $34.66.

Terms of the deal call for Gurgaon-based Apollo to pay $35 per share in cash for Cooper, a premium of 43% to the target's Tuesday close. Apollo, which last month said it would sell its operations in South Africa to Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. for $60 million, said it would fund the deal with new borrowings.

The companies said the deal would create a manufacturer with $6.6 billion in annual sales and rank as the world's seventh-largest tire seller. Findlay, Ohio-based Cooper, which ranks as the world's 11th-largest tire company by revenue, was founded in 1914 and does business via brands including Cooper, Mastercraft, Starfire, Chengshan, Roadmaster and Avon. Apollo, in business since 1972, has substantial market share in India and Europe but has been seeking to expand in areas such as North America that have been growing faster.

"This transformational transaction provides an unprecedented opportunity to serve customers across a host of geographies in both developed and fast-growing emerging markets around the world," Apollo chairman Onkar S. Kanwar said in a statement. "The combined company will be uniquely positioned to address large, established markets, such as the United States and the European Union, as well as the fast-growing markets of India, China, Africa and Latin America where there is significant potential for further growth."

The companies expect the deal to close before year's end. Apollo said it expects Cooper to continue to be run by members of current management and to honor the terms of collective bargaining agreements in place.

Cooper chairman and CEO Roy Armes in a statement said the deal is in the best interest of shareholders and "offers attractive benefits to our customers and employees," noting that the companies "have almost no geographic overlap and significant opportunities for growth."

Apollo expects to generate synergies of at least $80 million annually at the Ebitda level within three years via better scale, product optimization and manufacturing improvements.

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