FINDLAY, Ohio (July 23)—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. could conclude a deal to sell its Cooper-Standard Automotive unit by as early as August, Thomas A. Dattilo, chairman, president and CEO, told analysts this week during a conference call to discuss second-quarter results.
Cooper stands by its earlier statement that the sale would be finalized near the end of the third quarter, Dattilo said. The for-sale status of Cooper-Standard resulted in a lot of interested parties, Dattilo said while cautioning that there were no additional moves or announcements at this stage.
Cooper will use the proceeds of any sale to invest in the tire business and pay off some of its $807 million debt, said Chief Financial Officer Phil Weaver.
Looking at Cooper-Standard's performance during the quarter, Dattilo pointed out that some of its competitors have gone bankrupt, others have been sold or are up for sale. This has repercussions in the business. One of them for Cooper-Standard may have been to retain business with DaimlerChrysler A.G., which the car maker had earlier announced it would move elsewhere.
Cooper-Standard reported a 72-percent gain in operating profit during the quarter to $44 million, while sales rose 17 percent to $485 million. During the quarter, Cooper-Standard was awarded new contracts worth $72 million for production during the next five years, bringing total new business for 2004 to $98 million.