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Cooper will gain majority share in Chengshan

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Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has reached an agreement to obtain 51% ownership of Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Passenger Tire Co. Ltd. and Cooper Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Truck Tire Co. Ltd.

The two companies -- which will be formed upon government approval -- were together known as Shandong Chengshan Tire Co. Ltd. (Chengshan) of Rongchen City in Shandong, China.

Chengshan is the third largest Chinese-owned tire manufacturer with expected sales of $500 million in 2005, according to Cooper officials.

It produces passenger and light truck radials, plus bias and radial commercial truck tires.

"This is another major step in our Asian strategy," says Cooper Chairman, CEO and President Tom Dattilo.

"Chengshan is an excellent and profitable Chinese manufacturer that is already selling a significant number of tires around the world, and especially in China, where Cooper has plans to have a leading market share position in the future."

The transaction is expected to go through by the end of the year.

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