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Goodyear soon will own 100% of South Pacific Tyres

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has reached agreement in principle on the final terms to acquire Ansell Limited's interest in its South Pacific Tyres (SPT) joint ventures. The agreement is pending government and other approvals.

Goodyear will pay its partner approximately $40 million for its 50% ownership of the tire manufacturer and marketer, which has operations in Australia and New Zealand. Goodyear also will repay approximately $50 million of outstanding loans from Ansell to SPT.

Pierre E. Cohade, president of Goodyear's Asia/Pacific business unit, says the addition not only strengthens Goodyear's position in these countries, but also enhances its flexibility and earnings growth prospects in the region.

"We are excited to own 100% of SPT in Australia and New Zealand and to have a leadership position in these important markets," he says. "SPT, under the leadership of CEO Joseph Copeland, is making excellent progress in its turnaround."

Formed in 1987, SPT has annual sales of more than $700 million. Its results have been consolidated with those of Goodyear's Asia/Pacific region since January 2004. SPT employs 4,000 associates.

Goodyear's stock price on the New York Stock Exchange closed at $17.75 a share on Thursday, Dec. 15. That compares to a 52-week high of $18.59 and low of $11.24.

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