Financial Times: Apollo, Cooper Tire face ‘culture crash’ in China
The Financial Times has a well-written piece about Apollo Tyre’s $2.5 billion bid to acquire Cooper Tire and the obstacle it faces in a factory in China.
It’s been written about before: The joint-venture majority owned by Cooper has seen its 5,000 workers bar Cooper management from entering and is producing only non-Cooper tires. It’s putting a wrench in the merger, which goes to a shareholder vote on Monday.
Here’s some excerpts from the story. Click here for a link to the entire piece:
Cooper’s hold on the factory, a joint venture with the Chengshan Group in Shandong province, has been slipping away ever since the Apollo transaction was announced in June. Several of its own managers have been barred from entering, even though the Ohio company has a controlling 65 per cent stake in the operation.
According to Chengshan executives, who are also fiercely opposed to the buyout, the union will not allow the facility’s Cooper-appointed managing director, finance director and human resources director into the plant.
Cooper’s Shandong workforce says it will only relent if the transaction with Apollo is abandoned. And even if it is, the anger is such that it is unclear how Cooper would repair its relationship with Chengshan, which has asked a local court to dissolve the joint venture. The court recently dismissed an attempt by Cooper to have the dispute transferred to an arbitration panel in Hong Kong and is likely to rule on Chengshan’s petition in October.