Apollo Tyres Asks Judge to Dismiss Cooper Takeover Suit

Apollo Tyres Ltd. (APTY) asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. (CTB) to force a $2.5 billion takeover, contending Cooper hasn’t lived up to its part of the bargain.

Cooper has been “unable for a matter of months to access basic financial material about a significant portion of its business,” in violation of the contract, and thus the case should be dismissed and a trial set for Nov. 5 to Nov. 7 should be canceled, Raymond DiCamillo, an Apollo lawyer, said in an Oct. 18 letter to Delaware Chancery Judge Sam Glasscock III.

An attorney for Cooper, Stephen Norman, replied in a letter to the judge that the trial should be held.

“This court has already twice rejected the very same legal argument,” Cooper wrote of the Apollo request. “There is no reason for the court to reconsider.”

Glasscock didn’t immediately rule today on Apollo’s motion.

Cooper, based in Findlay, Ohio, said June 12 that it would be bought by Apollo for $35 a share. Cooper sued Apollo to enforce the buyout after the Gurgaon, India-based company failed to close the deal by an Oct. 4 deadline.

Cooper 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 bases 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.

The case is Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. v. Apollo Holdings Pvt Ltd., CA8980, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).

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

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

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