AKRON (Sept. 20, 2005) — Goodyear is looking into the possible sale of the company's Engineered Products business because it's considered a non-core operation by the company.
The tire maker “will consider the sale of the business to a buyer that will recognize the considerable value of the business and its associates while maintaining Goodyear's level of service to customers,” Robert J. Keegan, Goodyear chairman and CEO, said in a prepared statement.
The tire maker has engaged J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. and Goldman, Sachs & Co. as financial advisers on a possible sale.
“While Engineered Products is performing well, it is a non-core operation for Goodyear,” Mr. Keegan said. “As we continue to build on the considerable progress we have made in recent years, we believe the best course of action is to focus all of our resources on the growth of our core consumer and commercial tire businesses.”
Led by President Tim Toppen, the business has achieved year-over-year growth in both sales and earnings in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
Mr. Toppen said the decision to explore a sale of the business would not interfere with its focus on daily operations and meeting customer needs. “The cornerstone of our operating philosophy stays intact—we want to help our customers grow their businesses for the long term,” he said.
Goodyear Engineered Products makes and markets engineered rubber products for industrial, military, consumer and transportation original equipment end-users. The product portfolio of the business includes hose, conveyor belts, power transmission products, molded products and air springs.
In 2004, the business had sales of about $1.5 billion and segment operating income of $113 million. It operates 30 facilities worldwide and has around 7,000 employees.
In March 2003, Goodyear made a similar announcement regarding its Chemical business. But the division was never sold, and it is now part of the company's North American Tire unit. After that announcement, speculation grew that Goodyear would look to sell Engineered Products.