Cooper lawsuit to go ahead

A Delaware Chancery Court judge has turned down Apollo Tyres’ bid to have Cooper Tire & Rubber’s lawsuit against it dismissed. Judge Sam Glasscock III stated during a telephone hearing that both parties should “prepare for trial” if they can’t settle their differences alone.

In the counterclaim filed with the court on 14 October, Apollo argued that Cooper failed to provide information required under the merger agreement, due in part to its lack of control over the company’s Chinese joint-venture subsidiary, Cooper Chengshan Tire. It also claimed Cooper had breached several representations, warranties and covenants in the merger agreement.

A lawyer representing Apollo, Raymond DiCamillo, articulated this sentiment in detail in an 18 October letter to Glasscock, as Bloomberg’s Phil Milford reports. DiCamillo wrote that “Cooper has been unable for a matter of months to access basic financial material about a significant portion of its business.” Milford also shares that another Apollo lawyer, John Hardiman, told the judge on 21 October that the tyre maker’s acquisition of Cooper would only be finalised “if, and only if, all conditions have been satisfied.” From Cooper’s side, attorney Stephen Norman wrote to Glasscock saying that the court has already twice rejected the same legal argument, while Cooper lawyer Robert Faxon told the judge that issues related to Cooper Chengshan and the United Steelworkers union were risks “that the parties contemplated.” Norman opined that Apollo has now “switched to litigation mode” to extricate itself from the deal.

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