Titan could finalize OTR plant acquisition today

July 31, 2006

With a labor contract in place, Titan International Inc. Chairman and CEO told moderntiredealer.com that Titan's purchase of Continental Tire North America Inc.'s OTR tire plant in Bryan, Ohio, could go through today, July 31.

"We have not signed an agreement," Taylor said earlier this morning. "Do I think it will probably take place today? Yes."

On July 30, members of the United Steelworkers Local 890L ratified a four-year contract with Titan "by a huge majority," according to union officials.

"The vote will allow Titan Tire to complete the purchase of Continental Tire’s Bryan, Ohio facility," say union officials.

The union says Titan is slated to take over on Aug. 1.

"We’re very pleased with (ballot) results," says John Bowling, unit chair for the local.

"This has been a long, grinding process and we’re glad it’s finally over."

The union had been in negotiations with three different potential buyers -- German company Rosler Group, Denman Tire Corp. owner Pensler Capital Corp. and Titan Tire -- at various times since January 2005.

The new agreement with Titan calls for improved contract language, general wage increases in each of the four years, improved health care insurance, more secure pensions, and plant closure protection.

"It’s a good agreement and we’re happy that Titan is committed to building tires in the U.S. and particularly right here in Bryan, Ohio," says Bowling.