FINDLAY, Ohio—The pending merger of Apollo Tyre Ltd. and Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is one step closer to being completed.
The mandatory review period, called the Hart-Scott Rodino Act, expired on July 26, and no action was taken by the Federal Trade Commission or the Department of Justice. That satisfies one of the conditions necessary for the transaction to close.
Findlay-based Cooper and Apollo, headquartered in Gurgaon, India, said they expect the transaction will be completed before the end of the year, subject to the remaining customary closing conditions.
On June 12, Apollo said it reached a deal to acquire Cooper for about $2.5 billion. The purchase will make Apollo the world's seventh-largest tire manufacturer, with combined sales of $6.6 billion in 2012. Cooper ranks as the world's 11th-largest tire marker, and Apollo is the 16th-largest.
Once the transaction is concluded, Goodyear will be the only U.S.-headquartered producer of consumer and commercial tires not owned by a foreign-based company.
Cooper stockholders will receive $35 per share, which represents a 40-percent premium to Cooper's 30-day volume-weighted average price.
The companies said the combination will bring together manufacturers with highly complementary brands, geographic presence and technological expertise to create a global leader in tire manufacturing and distribution.
Apollo, founded in 1972, produces a line of premium and mid-tier tires, and makes the flagship Apollo and Vredestein brands. Cooper, which opened in 1914, manufactures premium and mid-tier tires worldwide through brands such as Cooper, Mastercraft, Starfire, Chengshan, Roadmaster and Avon.
After the deal is finished, Cooper will become a privately held company. The tire makers said it is expected Cooper will continue to be led by members of its current management team and operate out of its facilities located around the world, which includes three in the U.S.
Cooper will continue to recognize the labor unions and honor the terms of collective bargaining agreements presently in effect while generally maintaining compensation and benefit levels for non-union employees, the companies said.