FINDLAY, Ohio—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has completed its purchase of a 65-percent interest in China's Qingdao Ge Rui Da Rubber Co., Ltd. (GRT) under terms that were previously announced.
Cooper announced plans to buy the stake, for about $93 million, in January.
GRT produces radial truck and bus tires for global markets at its 1 million-sq.-ft. plant in Pingdu, China, and in the future will produce tires for Cooper customers in the U.S. and elsewhere. Cooper sells truck tires under the Roadmaster brand.
Cooper and GRT are considering adding capacity for radial passenger tires at the plant, which has room for further expansion.
Cooper President and CEO Brad Hughes called the partnership with GRT “an important step” in the company's plan to diversify its truck and bus tire supply.
“Cooper is committed to delivering high-quality tires with superior value to our TBR customers,” Hughes said in a statement. “…We are pleased with the team at GRT as they possess deep industry and technical knowledge and there is a strong workforce in place at the facility, which offers space for expansion to accommodate future growth.”
GRT was founded in 2014 by Qingdao Yiyuan Investment Co. Ltd., which purchased the assets of the then-idled facility. Prior to that it was known as Qingdao Guang Ming Tire Co. Ltd.
The new venture will be called Cooper Qingdao Tire Co. Ltd. The transaction price covers the acquisition and initial investments in the operation, Cooper said in January.
Cooper did not comment on what impact the elevated import duties that the U.S. government is levying on truck tires imported from China might have on GRT and its ability to supply competitively priced truck tires in the U.S.