Chengshan wanted to acquire Cooper Tire, court hears
Yesterday the court case between Apollo Tyres & Cooper Tire & Rubber began in the US. The case is scheduled to run until tomorrow, and on the first day Cooper chairman, chief executive officer and president Roy Armes shared why relations with the partner in its Cooper Chengshan joint venture operation turned sour once the Apollo acquisition deal became known.
According to Armes, the Chengshan Group was engaged in talks about making its own bid for Cooper Tire & Rubber when the US tyre maker agreed to Apollo’s offer. Initial interactions with Apollo led Armes to consider that progress was being made. Reuters’ coverage of the opening day in court shares, however, that Armes received an e-mail from Apollo vice-chairman and managing director Neeraj Kanwar on 27 August; this correspondence apparently raised the possibility that the industrial action at the Cooper Chengshan plant in China could jeopardise the deal’s financing.
“As I recall I was at first surprised and confused,” Reuters quoted Armes as saying, noting that the Cooper boss considered Kanwar’s tone to be ‘friendly’ just three days earlier. “It seemed somewhat contradictory,” he commented.