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Favourable 'partial ruling' given in spat with Cooper: Apollo

New Delhi, Nov 9, 2013 (PTI):
Apollo Tyres today said it has received a favourable 'partial ruling' from a US court in its dispute with Cooper Tire over their proposed USD 2.5-billion merger agreement. Reuters Photo

Apollo Tyres today said it has received a favourable 'partial ruling' from a US court in its dispute with Cooper Tire over their proposed USD 2.5-billion merger agreement and stated it is committed to finding a 'sensible way forward'.

"We are pleased that the Delaware Court has found that Apollo is not in breach of its merger agreement with Cooper Tire. Furthermore, the Court found that Apollo has used 'reasonable best efforts' to negotiate with the United Steelworkers (USW) and that, contrary to Cooper’s claims, 'nothing in Apollo’s conduct indicates buyer’s remorse'," Apollo Tyres said in a statement.

Apollo continues to believe in the merits of the combination and is committed to finding a sensible way forward, it added.

In October, Cooper filed a complaint in Delaware Court of Chancery to push for completion of their merger and stated that the Indian firm was seeking to delay an agreement with USW, which represents Cooper employees at facilities in Findlay, Ohio, and Texarkana, Arkansas.

Apollo had denied this but sought price reduction in the USD 2.5-billion deal citing problems related to the US firm’s operations in China and concessions to the workers’ union but was rejected by Cooper.

Earlier this week, Cooper had said it has reached tentative agreements with USW aimed at helping it close the deal with Apollo.

In June, Apollo had announced to acquire Cooper Tire & Rubber Co in an all-cash transaction valued at around USD 2.5 billion (nearly Rs 14,500 crore) and the merged entity was billed to become the seventh largest tyre maker in the world.

In a statement later in the day, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company said it is "disappointed with the decision of the Delaware Chancery Court that Apollo did not breach its obligation to expeditiously reach an agreement with the United Steelworkers per the terms of the merger agreement."

Cooper is assessing its options with respect to this decision and awaits the court's ruling on other open matters in this case, it added.


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