QUINCY, Ill. (Jan. 17, 2006) — The sale of off-road tire and wheel maker Titan International Inc. to a private equity unit of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. should be completed by the end of February, according to Titan's chairman and CEO.
Maurice “Morry” Taylor Jr. said One Equity L.L.C. has completed its due diligence and negotiations are under way on a final sale agreement with a committee of Titan directors. He expects the full board to vote on the deal by the middle of February, followed by a shareholders vote at the end of the month.
“I would expect the vote to be done by the end of February,” he said.
One Equity has offered $360 million, or $18 per share, for Titan, whose stock closed on Jan. 13 at $17.49 per share. In addition, $81 million in debt converts into 6 million shares, which would be eligible for the $18-per-share tender. That tacks on another $108 million to the price.
Through the first nine months of 2005, the company posted net income of $16.6 million, or 83 cents per share—a 34 percent increase over the $12.4 million, or 65 cents per share, earned for the same period a year earlier. Sales slipped 7.8 percent to $373.5 million during the same period.
One Equity plans to take Titan private but leave Mr. Taylor in charge of the downstate Quincy, Ill.-based company, which makes wheels and tires for farm tractors, construction equipment and other off-road vehicles.