The transaction will expand Goodyear’s product offering by combining two portfolios of complementary brands, the company said, and will also create a stronger U.S.-based manufacturer with an increased presence in distribution and retail channels while combining both companies’ strengths in the highly profitable light truck and SUV product segments. The combined company will have approximately $17.5 billion in 2019 sales, Goodyear said.
Upon closing of the transaction, Goodyear shareholders will own approximately 84% of the combined company and Cooper shareholders will own approximately 16%.
Founded in 1914, Cooper is the fifth-largest tire manufacturer in North America by revenue with approximately 10,000 employees working in 15 countries worldwide. Cooper products are manufactured in 10 facilities around the globe, including wholly-owned and joint venture plants. The company’s portfolio of brands includes Cooper, Mastercraft, Roadmaster and Mickey Thompson.
“This is an exciting and transformational day for our companies,” said Richard J. Kramer, Goodyear chairman, chief executive officer and president. “The addition of Cooper’s complementary tire product portfolio and highly capable manufacturing assets, coupled with Goodyear’s technology and industry-leading distribution, provides the combined company with opportunities for improved cost efficiency and a broader offering for both companies’ retailer networks. We are confident this combination will enable us to provide enhanced service for our customers and consumers while delivering value for shareholders.”
Kramer added, “We have a great deal of respect for Cooper’s team and share a commitment to integrity, quality, agility and teamwork. We look forward to welcoming Cooper to the Goodyear family.”
Brad Hughes, Cooper president & chief executive officer, added, “Cooper has transformed into a dynamic, consumer-driven organization that has balanced traditional and emerging channels to increase demand for our products, while updating and effectively leveraging our global manufacturing footprint. I am extremely proud of what our team has accomplished over the past 107 years and am grateful to our talented employees for their contributions and commitment. This transaction marks the start of a new chapter for Cooper, which we are entering from a position of strength. We believe that it represents an attractive opportunity to maximize value for our shareholders, who will receive a meaningful premium as well as the opportunity to participate in the upside of the combined company. We look forward to the opportunity to combine Cooper’s considerable talents with Goodyear’s, and to be part of a bigger, stronger organization that will be competitively well-positioned to win in the global tire industry.”
The transaction further strengthens Goodyear’s leading position in the U.S., the company said, while significantly growing its position in other North American markets. In China, the combination nearly doubles Goodyear’s presence and increases the number of relationships with local automakers, while creating broader distribution for Cooper replacement tires through Goodyear’s network of 2,500 branded retail stores.
After closing, the combined company will be headquartered in Akron, Ohio, but Goodyear expects to maintain a presence in Findlay, Ohio.