Cooper completes sale of automotive business

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Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has completed the sale of its Cooper-Standard Automotive unit to an entity formed by The Cypress Group and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners for $1.165 billion in cash.

The transaction includes 47 manufacturing plants and operations.

Cooper-Standard, which is located in Novi, Mich., produces fluid handling, body sealing and vibration control systems. It had revenue of $1.6 billion in 2003.

"The sale will allow us to focus more fully on our core business and will provide the flexibility and capital necessary to grow (Cooper´s) tire business to its full global potential," says Cooper Chairman, CEO and President Tom Dattilo.

Proceeds from the sale will be used to reduce debt, buy back shares and invest in tire operations, according to Cooper officials. Approximately $60 million of the proceeds will be allocated to finance various pension plans.

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