The Delaware Chancery Court has granted Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s request for an expedited hearing of its October 4, 2013, complaint against Apollo Tyres Ltd.
Cooper filed the complaint on behalf of its shareholders asking the court to compel Apollo to "expeditiously close the pending merger between the two tire companies." Cooper claims that among other matters, Apollo is seeking to delay an agreement with the United Steelworkers (USW). The USW represents Cooper employees at facilities in Findlay, Ohio, and Texarkana, Ark.
In response to the original complaint, Apollo claims that Cooper's actions, or inactions, as the case may be, are the reason the deal isn't getting done faster.
Their back-and-forth statements indicate the companies are not on the same page. For example, Apollo says Cooper has acknowledged that "some price reduction" in the $35 per share offer is warranted. Cooper says it has made no such acknowledgement.
"We are pleased the Delaware Chancery Court has agreed to Cooper’s request for an expedited hearing of our complaint and will proceed along the court’s stated timeline to hear the case in early November," says Cooper in an official statement.
"The strategic rationale for the pending merger with Apollo Tyres remains compelling, and we believe it will create value for all stakeholders. We look forward to closing the pending merger as soon as possible."
To read about what the companies are saying about each other, check out the following links:
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.