Two of the biggest remaining American tire companies are joining forces.
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. is acquiring Cooper in a deal valued at USD 2.5 billion that will combine the two century-old Ohio manufacturers.
Cooper, founded in 1914, is the 5th largest tire maker in North America based on revenue. The company has about 10,000 employees in 15 countries.
In addition to the Cooper brand, it also owns Mastercraft, Roadmaster and Mickey Thompson.
For Goodyear, the bigger company, the deal will nearly double its presence in China. Cooper will get access to Goodyear's 2,500 retail locations.
The auto industry navigated a whirlwind year with the pandemic and all of the economic disruptions that accompanied it.
Industry analysts see a rebound this year as vaccines are more broadly distributed, but many do not see activity reaching the levels of 2019, before the pandemic hit.
But shares in both companies have been rising sharply over the past year, particularly in the past three moths. Shares of Goodyear are up more than 21 per cent in the past 30 days. Shares of Cooper are up almost 10 per cent in that time.
Shareholders of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., based in Findlay, Ohio, will get USD 41.75 in cash and about .9 shares of Goodyear common stock per share of Cooper stock.
Based on Goodyear's closing price on Friday, the total consideration for Cooper shareholders is USD 54.36 per share, a 24 per cent premium to Cooper's closing price on Friday. Shares in Cooper jumped 17 per cent in premarket trading.
The deal, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, is expected to close in the second half of this year.
It would give shareholders of Goodyear, based in Akron, Ohio, about 84 per cent of the company and Cooper shareholders with the remaining 16 per cent, the companies said.