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Titan to buy Goodyear's European, Latin American farm units

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Titan Tire Corp., a subsidiary of Titan International Inc., has entered into agreements with the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. to buy its European and Latin American farm tire businesses, including a licensing agreement that will allow Titan to manufacture and sell Goodyear-brand farm tires in Europe, Africa, Eastern Europe, Russia, Latin America and North America, for approximately $130 million, subject to post-closing adjustments.

The company did a similar deal with Goodyear when Titan purchased the assets of Goodyear’s North American farm tire business, including a plant in Freeport, Ill., in December of 2005.

The Latin American portion of the transaction includes Goodyear’s Sao Paulo, Brazil, manufacturing plant, property, equipment and inventories. Subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, it is expected to close in the first half of 2011.

The European portion of the transaction is subject to the exercise of a put option by Goodyear following completion of a social plan related to the previously announced discontinuation of consumer tire production at its Amiens North, France, manufacturing plant and required consultation with the local Works Council. Upon completion of this action, as well as customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, the transaction will include the Amiens North plant, property, equipment and inventories.

“Titan is pleased to be adding these new regions to our current book of global business,” says Maurice Taylor Jr., Titan chairman and CEO. “These acquisitions support our global vision of becoming the premier farm tire manufacturer in the world. In the past these assets have had sales in excess of $400 million U.S. dollars annually. Going forward, my expectations are to increase the sales in a short period of time.”

Richard Kramer, Goodyear's chairman and CEO, says, "This transaction reinforces our focus on our core consumer and commercial tire businesses. Our farm tire operations have been very successful for many decades. We thank our associates for their contributions.”

Kramer expressed his confidence that Titan, for whom farm tires are a core business, will maintain the company’s strong relationships with Goodyear farm tire customers as well as the regions’ farming communities.

Titan will hold a conference call on Wednesday, Dec. 15, at 12 p.m. Eastern for investor questions. To participate in the conference call, dial (877)-260-8900 five minutes prior to the scheduled time. International callers dial (612)-332-1020. A replay of the call will be available until Dec. 22, 2010.

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