Titan deal with Goodyear in Europe falls through

Dec. 1, 2011

Morry Taylor, chairman and CEO of Titan International Inc., didn't pull any punches when the "put option" Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. had for the Amiens, France, facility expired on Nov. 30, 2011. That killed the 2009 tentative deal Titan had made to acquire Goodyear's farm tire business.

“It shows how screwed up things are in France when a company tries to save jobs,” he said.

The European farm business and related put option contained a clause that Goodyear had to have a social plan for the closing of the passenger car business in Amiens, France, leaving 537 jobs in the farm business (see "Titan to buy Goodyear's European, Latin American farm units").

Titan says the factory unions have been successful in the French labor courts holding up such plans for a number of years.

“Titan has other acquisitions that have been on hold while the put option was still active," said Taylor. "Now, Titan will pursue those options instead of waiting for the French union to start thinking about their members.

"Titan spent a lot of time and money trying to get Goodyear’s social plan approved, but only a non-business person would understand the French labor rules. The French workers are very good at what they do when they work, but as I told the union personnel, you cannot get paid seven hours for three hours of work.”

Titan will announce guidance goals for 2012 on Friday, Dec. 9, 2011, followed by a conference call on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011.