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Goodyear buys extra 20% in Slovenian joint venture

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has increased its stake in Kranj, Slovenia-based joint venture Sava Tires d.o.o. to 80%.

Goodyear bought the extra shares for $38.5 million.

It also has the right to buy Sava's remaining 20% interest during various periods in 2004 and 2005.

Goodyear and Sava formed the joint venture in 1998 with the Akron, Ohio-based tiremaker acquiring a 20% stake.

"Goodyear has invested more than $90 million in the modernization at Sava Tires and expects the company to continue to make rapid progress," says Jarro Kaplan, president of Goodyear's Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

Sava manufactured more than six million passenger, light truck and medium truck tires at its Kranj plant during 2001.

Its sales last year totaled $230 million.

Goodyear has three more manufacturing plants in the Eastern European region: one in Debica, Poland, and two in Izmit and Adapazari, Turkey.

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