FINDLAY, Ohio (May 9)—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. said it plans to purchase certain retread manufacturing assets from Hercules Tire & Rubber Co., effective June 30. The final price is subject to certain valuations at closing, but will not exceed $8.5 million, Cooper said. The deal will give Cooper access to retread customers formerly supplied by Hercules. It will not include any facilities but will bring in certain assets of Hercules' Cedco equipment division, the companies said. The retread merger is in the best interests of independent retreaders, in terms of allowing them to remain competitive, Hercules said, while allowing the tire maker itself to concentrate its efforts on expanding its custom-mixing business and tire distribution network.