QUINCY, Ill. (April 14, 2008) — Titan International Inc. is considering buying back up to all of the remaining shares of its former subsidiary, Titan Europe Plc.
The Quincy-based tire manufacturer April 11 filed a preliminary proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to hold a special shareholders meeting to approve an issuance of up to 9 million shares of common stock. Before an offer can be made, shareholders need to approve the issuance, Titan said.
The offer values the Titan Europe shares at $4.56, roughly double the price on Friday's market close. The offer would value the European business at about $375 million.
Titan International spun off Titan Europe in April 2004 but retained a 30-percent stake in the company. Titan Europe issued more shares in 2005, decreasing its former parent's stake to 15.4 percent.
In 2006, Titan Luxembourg S.A.R.L., a wholly owned subsidiary of Titan International, bought 1.8 million shares of Titan Europe for $7.9 million, boosting Titan's stake in the European company to 17.3 percent, where it currently stands.
Maurice “Morry” Taylor Jr., Titan's chairman and CEO, said he cannot comment on the company's strategy concerning Titan Europe until a final version of the proxy is issued.
The SEC must first approve the preliminary proxy before a definitive proxy can be issued and arrangements for a Titan stockholders meeting can be made, the company said.