FINDLAY, Ohio (May 9, 2001) -– Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. announced its intention to buy certain assets of Hercules Tire & Rubber Co.'s retread operation and Cedco equipment division at a price not to exceed $8.5 million.
Cooper said none of Hercules' physical facilities will be included in the purchase as it will rely on its existing resources to supply customers formerly served by that company.
The Findlay-based tire maker said the two companies will work together to make the transition as smooth as possible. The purchase will significantly increase sales of the Oliver Retreading Systems and Products unit, which is a part of Cooper´s new commercial division. Cooper said the acquisition will provide an even larger retreading support system for its present Oliver and Long Mile customers.
Cooper's Oliver sales force will begin serving Hercules dealers as soon as the transaction is finalized on June 30.
Hercules, in a separate news release, said it will retain its manufacturing facilities in Findlay and Guntersville, Ala., and that the sale does not affect its custom-mix or tire distribution businesses. The company added that its corporate, customer service and technical departments will not be affected in an effort to assure a smooth transition to Cooper´s Oliver division and to assure continued full technical service to custom-mix customers.
In late 2000, Cooper announced a restructuring plan combining Oliver with Cooper´s radial medium truck tire manufacturing operations to form a new commercial division. Oliver´s business operations were transferred to Findlay from Athens, Ga., in April.
Larry Enders, Cooper's commercial products president, said the company had been looking for an opportunity to increase sales in its retreading operations. "Over the past six months,” he said, “ we have been streamlining retreading assets and maximizing our facility utilization to enhance our customer service capabilities. We are now ready to serve an expanded customer base and are looking forward to meeting the needs of our retreading customers."
Hercules President and CEO Craig Anderson said the Findlay-based dealer cooperative is “happy to find a resource committed to the independent dealer and a leader in technology. Cooper has the resources and a stable program, so we believe our dealers will be in good hands," Mr. Anderson said.
The sale of the retreading unit, he said, will allow Hercules to focus on its growing custom-mixing business and further expand its worldwide tire distribution network.
"For the past four years, our custom-mix business has been growing at over 35 percent per year, equaling nearly 50 percent of our current rubber sales; and we can now commit and focus our 100,000,000 pounds of capacity to this industry," Mr. Anderson said.