The ``win-win'' cliche truly is overused, but it does aptly describe the announced sale of the Goodyear Engineered Products division.
A win for Goodyear, because the company finally trades an operation in which it had little interest for $1.5 billion in cash it can use to reduce its enormous financial obligations.
A bigger win for Carlyle Group. In a time when huge investment companies are hot to buy, Carlyle will come away with a profitable business that has a strong market position and, given proper care, will provide a nice return someday when it is sold or goes public.
And the biggest win for the Engineered Products operation and the people who run and work for the division. No longer a stepchild of a tire company, the business now has opportunities for growth and security.
The divestiture had a long gestation: Word that Goodyear was shopping the business surfaced in September 2005. The long strike by the United Steelworkers against Goodyear certainly slowed any potential sale, and also had a bad-although temporary-impact on the division's financial results.
While the list of potential suitors hasn't been revealed, last year Continental A.G. disclosed it was discussing a possible purchase of the division.
The Goodyear business might have been a good fit with the German company's ContiTech non-tire division, but the fallout from that deal could have been plant closings and layoffs, to cut duplication. For Goodyear Engineered Products and its employees, staying whole is a lot better alternative.
The Goodyear unit accomplished a nice turnaround with its current management team after several years of financial struggle. Indeed, when Goodyear's tire operations were suffering huge losses, the Engineered Products segment remained profitable.
Goodyear has sworn to focus strictly on being a maker of passenger and truck tires. After the sale of the Engineered Products group closes, the company will have virtually reached that goal.
What happens in the future will prove if that was the smart strategy.