QUINCY, Ill. (Jan. 17) — The sale of tire and wheel maker Titan International Inc. to a private equity firm should be completed by the end of February.
Titan announced in October that One Equity Partners L.L.C., a private equity affiliate of JPMorgan Chase & Co., made an offer to acquire the Quincy-based company in a cash merger for $18 per share in common stock. One Equity has completed its due diligence and negotiations are under way on a final sale agreement with a committee of Titan directors, according to Maurice Taylor Jr., Titan chairman and CEO.
He expects the board of directors to vote on the sale by the middle of February, followed by a shareholders vote at the end of the month. Richard M. Cashin, one of Titan´s directors, is the managing partner of One Equity. When the deal is completed, Titan will operate as a private company, though Taylor will remain its top official.
Titan´s shares currently are traded on the New York Stock Exchange. As of last fall, the company had 19.4 million shares outstanding, making the deal worth about $350 million.
The company posted sales of $373.6 million and net earnings of $16.6 million through three quarters of 2005. In 2004, Titan reported net income of $11.1 million on sales of $510.6 million.
The $100-million purchase of Goodyear´s farm tire business, which closed in December, is expected to increase Titan's 2006 sales by about $250 million, Taylor said.