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Cooper Tire sells automotive business for $1.165 billion

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Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has signed a definitive agreement to sell its automotive business, Cooper-Standard Automotive, to an entity formed by the The Cypress Group and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners for approximately $1.165 billion in cash. The deal is subject to "certain post-closing adjustments."

"We believe that after the transaction is completed, Cooper-Standard Automotive will be well-positioned for continued strong growth under its new ownership," says Tom Dattilo, chairman, CEO and president of Cooper Tire.

The transaction is expected to close in the forth quarter of 2004. It is subject to the purchaser´s receipt of financing from committed sources and other customary conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals.

Dattilo says proceeds from the sale will be used for debt reduction, investment in Cooper´s tire operations, repurchasing shares, "or a combination thereof."

"We look forward to pursuing growth opportunities in our tire business," he adds.

Cooper-Standard Automotive manufactures fluid handling systems, body sealing systems, and active and passive vibration control systems primarily for automotive original equipment manufacturers. The group posted revenue of close to $1.6 billion in 2003.

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