Apollo Denies ‘Buyer’s Remorse’ in Cooper Tire Buyout

Apollo Tyres Ltd. (APTY) denied having “buyer’s remorse” in a proposed $2.5 billion buyout of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. (CTB)

Cooper, based in Findlay, Ohio, said June 12 it would be bought by Gurgaon, India-based Apollo for an agreed-on $35 a share. When Apollo failed to close the deal as scheduled Oct 4, Cooper sued in Delaware Chancery Court to enforce the buyout and Apollo suggested a price-reduction.

“Almost immediately after the merger agreement was announced, Apollo showed signs of buyer’s remorse,” Cooper claimed in its complaint. “Analysts immediately criticized Apollo for agreeing to take on too much debt for the transaction, and having overpaid,”

Apollo responded in a filing made public today.

“This is not a case of buyer’s remorse,” the company said. “Apollo has long seen the strength of the strategic fit between Apollo and Cooper. It still sees that fit, and it is committed to acquiring Cooper.”

Apollo is allegedly trying to get a lower price by dragging its feet in negotiating an agreement with United Steelworkers unions, Cooper contends in court papers, and must deal with a strike involving a Cooper joint venture with China’s Chengshan Group Co.

The parties have agreed to hold a trial next month on the transaction, which would make Cooper part of the world’s seventh-largest tire company. The trial will be from Nov. 5 to Nov. 7 before Chancery Judge Sam Glasscock III, according to court papers.

Glasscock granted the case fast-track status Oct. 9 in a telephone hearing from Georgetown, Delaware.

The case is Cooper Tire v. Apollo, CA8980, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Phil Milford in Delaware Chancery Court in Wilmington at pmilford@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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