Chinese Court Rejects Request to Move Cooper Case to Hong Kong

A Chinese court rejected a request to relocate the legal dispute between Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and its China partner to Hong Kong, a court official said.

The Weihai Intermediate People’s Court relayed the decision to the companies via mail, said a court official, who asked not to be identified because of court rules. An official at Chengshan Group Co., the Chinese partner, said the company received the letter on Sept. 22. Anne Roman, a spokesman at Cooper, didn’t respond to an e-mail outside of office hours.

In July, Chengshan Group sought the dissolution of its venture with Cooper, saying the U.S. partner’s planned $2.5 billion sale to India’s Apollo Tyres Ltd. would undermine the Chinese venture’s operations. Cooper has said the litigation lacks merit.

The Chinese venture, which requested the move and is majority owned by Cooper, has 10 days after receiving the court’s notice to appeal, according to the court official.

The court in Weihai, located in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong, earlier this month pushed back a hearing on the case that was set for yesterday to an undetermined date.

Apollo spokesman Rohit Sharan didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Dealreporter reported earlier on the court decision.

— With assistance by Tian Ying

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