AKRON (April 8, 2003)—Looking for more financial flexibility, Goodyear has sold 20.8 million shares of its ownership stake in Japan's Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. for about $83.4 million, reducing its ownership stake in its global alliance partner to 1.55 percent.&Copy;
Of the shares sold, Sumitomo bought 20.3 million shares. Goodyear acquired a 10-percent ownership stake in Sumitomo as part of their 1999 global alliance involving the Dunlop brand.
Goodyear will take a non-cash charge of about $10 million, or 6 cents per share, in the second quarter for the sale.
“Our alliance and partnership with Sumitomo remains strong,” said Robert Keegan, Goodyear's president and CEO. “Our joint ventures are successful.”
Goodyear plans to use most of the proceeds to reduce debt.