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2014 Year in Review: January, February

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Expansions, court rulings against price-fixers and more tire plants being built or planned for the U.S. were among the many news stories that the rubber industry produced in 2014. Here is a look at January and February.


Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. begins the year without a merger with Apollo Tyres Ltd., as the agreement was terminated Dec. 30, 2013. Two weeks later, some investors filed a class action lawsuit against Cooper.

Kismet Rubber Products Corp. plans to add a continuous salt bath cure line at its belting plant in Blue Ridge, Ga.

Q Holding Co. has an expansion underway at its Qure Medical operations, as well as new automotive and medical products factories in China.

Natural rubber prices fall to their lowest level in Asia since 2009.

The U.S. International Trade Commission in the final days of 2013 votes to retain antidumping duties against Chinese-made off-the-road tires.

Ansell Ltd. closes a deal to buyglove maker Barrier-Safe Solutions International and sells its Marigold line of gloves.

Polish synthetic rubber producer Synthos S.A. makes plans to build an SBR plant and signs on Harwick Standard Distribution Corp. as its SBR and butadiene rubber distributor in the U.S. and Canada.

Photo by RPN photo by Bruce Meyer Randy Ross (left), president and CEO of Q Holding Co., and John Miller, Qure Medical technical support manager, at the firm's Quadra Tooling and Automation facility in North Canton, Ohio. Miller was in charge of setting up the firm's new factories in China.

Carlisle Companies Inc. completes the sale of its transportation products business to private equity firm American Industrial Partners on the last day of 2013.

A court rules in favor of Garlock Sealing Technologies L.L.C. and its parent company in an asbestos case, setting damages at $125 million rather than as much as $1.3 billion.

Semperit Group launches a major expansion at a hose factory in Odry, Czech Republic.

Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. announces it will build a passenger tire plant at the site of an existing truck/bus tire facility in Suzhou, China.

The light truck tire plant in Anagi, Italy, that Marangoni S.A. shut down the previous fall is put up for sale.

The parent of thermal black maker Cancarb Ltd. agrees to sell the Canadian company to Tokai Carbon Co. Ltd.

After a long dispute, Goodyear signs a severance agreement with the union at a tire factory in Amiens, France.

A former engineer at Wacker Chemical Corp. pleads guilty to stealing trade secrets and giving the silicone rubber formulas to his new, South Korean employer. He gets a two-year jail term and fine.


Workers sign a beam that will be placed in the new Continental tire factory in Sumter, S.C.

Continental Tires the Americas L.L.C. officially opens a $500 million tire plant in Sumter, S.C.

Henniges Automotive Holdings Inc. buys the remaining interest in a Chinese automotive parts operation it didn't already own.

Qure Medical discloses it has purchased Tompkins Pharmaceutical Rubber, a deal that boosts its presence in the pharmaceutical side of the medical business.

Titan International Inc. ponders buying a Goodyear facility in Amiens, France, now that a severance pact with workers at the facility had been reached.

A San Diego law firm files a securities fraud class action suit against Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. over its failed merger with Apollo Tyres Ltd.

ContiTech A.G. acquires the power transmission belt business of Taizhou Fuju Rubber Belt Manufacture Co. Ltd. in China.

ContiTech A.G. agrees to buy out major hose and belt competitor Veyance Technologies Inc.

Cooper Tire reaches an agreement with Chengshan Group Co. Ltd. and a labor union to decide the future ownership of a joint-venture tire factory in China.

Pleading guilty to charges of price-fixing of automotive anti-vibration products, Bridgestone Corp. pays a fine and disciplines some corporate employees.

Goodyear seeks to dissolve its 15-year business alliance with Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd.

SBC block copolymer maker Kraton Performance Polymers Inc. agrees to merge with the SBC business of LCY Chemical Corp.

Goodyear decides to freeze its defined pension plan with union employees in April and set up a different contribution plan.