Categorized | Business news, Cooper Tire, International, Manufacturing, National, Tupelo

Judge says Cooper Tire merger lawsuit can continue

A Delaware Chancery judge said Monday he will not dismiss a lawsuit by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. to force a merger with Apollo Tyres.

According to Bloomberg,

Apollo asked a judge in Delaware last week to throw out Cooper’s case, contending the Ohio-based company hasn’t lived up to its part of the bargain and the $35-a-share deal shouldn’t go through.

There’s a need “to develop the facts,” and lawyers should “prepare for trial” if they can’t settle the case, DelawareChancery Court Judge Sam Glasscock III said Monday in a telephone hearing.”

The trial is scheduled for Nov. 5-7.

India-based Apollo, which announced in June its plan to acquire Findlay, Ohio-based Cooper for about $2.5 billion, last weekhad asked the court to dismiss a suit by Cooper to force the merger.

Cooper employs about 1,300 people at its Tupelo plant.

The two companies have been had a war of words over who’s at fault for the delay in the merger, which was to be finished by the end of the year.

Cooper says Apollo is dragging its feet; Apollo says Cooper hasn’t met the terms of the merger, including providing key financial information. Cooper said negotiations with the United Steelworkers union at two of its U.S. plants, plus labor issues at a Chinese joint venture were all known risks. Apollo says it’s not a case of buyer’s remorse and says it still wants a deal.

According to Bloomberg, Cooper in its lawsuit contends that Apollo agreed to use its “reasonable best efforts” to complete the transaction or pay a $112.5 million “reverse breakup fee” to walk away.

Apollo based its dismissal request on Cooper’s contention that it “has no control over” Chinese joint venture partner Chengshan Group Co. and cannot get its books and records.

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