Cooper to buy 11% of Kumho

Jan. 10, 2005

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has reached an agreement to acquire 11% of Kumho Tire´s common equity.

"This is a wise investment for us as we begin the process of repositioning (Cooper) after the sale of Cooper-Standard Automotive," says Cooper Chairman, CEO and President Tom Dattilo.

Cooper recently completed the sale of Cooper-Standard for $1.165 billion.

"We believe it is important for Cooper to form strategic relationships with other strong players in the global tire industry to realize a good return for shareholders and continue our planned growth in products, technology and market share."

The investment "will serve as a platform to explore synergies in various areas of shared interest," according to Cooper officials.

"Even though Cooper and Kumho will continue to operate independently, we believe we can partner in many areas for future benefit to all," says Dattilo.

The acquisition is in connection with a planned initial public offering to be listed on the Korea Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange.

It is expected to close during the first quarter of this year.