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Titan mounts effort to buy Goodyear's French farm tire factory

Thursday, September 24, 2009 - 00:00

Titan International, Inc. of Quincy, Ill. has signed a letter of intent to buy “certain farm tire assets” from Goodyear, including the Goodyear Dunlop Tires France (GDTF) Amiens North plant in Europe.

The non-binding document is “subject to GDTF’s satisfactory completion of a social plan related to consumer tire activity at the Amiens North facility, along with completion of due diligence, a definitive acquisition agreement and other standard acquisition approval requirements,” according to Titan Chairman and CEO Maurice M. Taylor Jr.

“Titan maintains its focus and specialty in the farm and off-the-road wheel and tire business,” says Taylor. “We hope GDTF can come to an expedient arrangement with the Central Works Council in France. If this can be done, the process will move forward.”

The terms were not disclosed.

Goodyear, in turn, has announced an offer to purchase Poland’s TC Debica tire company for $59.52 a share in Polish currency.

The Akron, Ohio-based tire maker’s Luxembourg subsidiary already owns 65.99 percent of Debica’s 13.8 million outstanding shares. Goodyear bought 59.87 percent of Debica’s stock in December of 1995, and acquired an additional 6.12 percent in March of last year.

Debica is a contract manufacturer for Goodyear; about 80 percent of the tires it produces are sold under various Goodyear brands. Most of the rest are marketed in Poland as Debica tires.

Also, a Goodyear investor conference call to discuss its new four-year master labor contract with the United Steelworkers union has been set for 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Sept. 29. It was originally scheduled for Sept. 28.

If you want to listen in, go to www.goodyear.com/investor or call 706-634-5954 before 1:55 p.m. on Sept. 29.

For more information, visit www.goodyear.com/corporate and www.titan-intl.com.

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