Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: CTB) today confirmed that it has received notice and related documentation from Chengshan Group Company Ltd. that it intends to exercise its option to acquire Cooper’s 65 percent ownership stake in Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Company Ltd (CCT). Cooper is currently reviewing the notice and documentation provided by Chengshan to confirm that all of the requirements under the August 14, 2014 option agreement have been met. “Delivery of the exercise notice is one of several steps necessary prior to any transaction,” said Cooper Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Roy Armes. “Cooper is committed to meeting the needs of our customers and continuing to grow in China. Should the process of resolving the ownership of CCT result in Chengshan acquiring our interest in the joint venture, a commercial offtake agreement is in place under which CCT is required to produce Cooper brand products—including Roadmaster truck tires—through mid-2018. The purpose of the offtake agreement is to assure a secure supply of Cooper brand products while also giving us the flexibility to enter into acquisitions, new offtake relationships, or possible greenfield development of additional production capacity anywhere around the world to support the continued expansion of our business. “China is a core growth market for Cooper and we have a strong track record of success in the region. To support our strategic plans there, we expect to continue to invest in our sales and marketing organization, our rapidly growing distribution network, and the strong technology capability we have in place,” Armes continued. “In addition, we expect to continue to invest in our wholly-owned Cooper Kunshan Tire operation, which is a world-class tire production facility with room to expand. We look forward to final resolution of the ownership of CCT as we continue to pursue our global growth objectives.”
Forward Looking StatementsThis news release contains what Cooper believes are “forward-looking statements,” as that term is defined under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, regarding expectations or matters that the Company anticipates may happen with respect to the ultimate outcome of the transactions contemplated by the January 29, 2014 agreement regarding CCT ownership and the option agreement, which involve uncertainty and risk. Such “forward-looking statements” are generally, though not always, preceded by words such as “expects,” “believe,” “will,” “intends” and similar terms that connote a view to the future and are not merely recitations of historical fact. Such statements are made solely on the basis of Cooper’s current views and perceptions of future events, and there can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be true. It is possible that actual events may differ materially from those expectations due to a variety of factors, including but not limited to: changes in the Company’s relationship with Chengshan, including any changes with respect to CCT’s production of Cooper brand products; changes to tariffs or the imposition of new tariffs or trade restrictions; the impact of labor problems, including labor disruptions at Cooper, its joint ventures, or at one or more of its large customers or suppliers, including CCT; the ability to sustain operations at CCT, including obtaining financial and other operational data of CCT; failure to successfully integrate acquisitions into operations or their related financings may impact liquidity and capital resources; and uncertainties associated with any proposed acquisition of Cooper’s interest in CCT by Chengshan, including uncertainties relating to the anticipated timing of filings and approvals relating to the transaction, the expected timing of completion of the transaction and the ability to complete the transaction. It is not possible to foresee or identify all such factors. Any forward-looking statements in this news release are based on certain assumptions and analyses made by Cooper in light of its experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors it believes are appropriate in the circumstances. Investors are cautioned that any such statements are not a guarantee of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected. Cooper makes no commitment to update any forward-looking statement included herein or to disclose any facts, events or circumstances that may affect the accuracy of any forward-looking statement. Further information covering issues that could materially affect financial performance is contained in Cooper’s periodic filings with the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
About Cooper Tire & Rubber CompanyCooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: CTB) is the parent company of a global family of companies that specialize in the design, manufacture, marketing, and sales of passenger car and light truck tires. Cooper has joint ventures, affiliates and subsidiaries that also specialize in medium truck, motorcycle and racing tires. Cooper's headquarters is in Findlay, Ohio, with manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design facilities within its family of companies located in 11 countries around the world. For more information on Cooper, visit http://coopertire.com, www.facebook.com/coopertire or www.twitter.com/coopertire.