SEOUL (March 12, 2008) — Kumho Tire Co. Inc. is seeking investors to acquire a 10.7-percent interest in the South Korean tire maker that Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has owned since February 2005.
Cooper bought the stake two years ago for $107 million and exercised its option in February to have Kumho buy back the 7.5 million shares back, Kumho President Sae Chul Oh said at an investment seminar March 4 in Seoul.
Kumho has asked Cooper to hold the shares until new investors can be found.
“The tentative deadline for our search is May of this year,” a Kumho spokesman said, without commenting on which investors have shown interest.
Brandes Investment Partners is another major investor, with a 7.2-percent stake. Kumho Asian Group owns 38.5 percent.
Cooper bought its stake in 2005 at 14,650 won ($15 at current exchange rates) a share, Kumho said. The stock was trading at about $10.31 a share on March 11.
At the time, Cooper said it was buying the shares as part of its global positioning strategy.