QUINCY, Ill. (Feb. 24, 2012) — Titan International Inc. continues to pursue the purchase of Goodyear's European farm tire business with the hope of closing a deal before the end of the first quarter, Titan Chairman and CEO Maurice Taylor Jr. told analysts this week.
Titan's plans to buy Goodyear's farm tire business in Europe lapsed last Nov. 30 after Goodyear was unable to complete a social plan related to the previously disclosed phase-out of consumer tire production at the Amiens plant. Titan had offered to buy the business, which includes sales territories throughout eastern Europe/Russia, Africa and the Middle East, in December 2010.
Speaking to analysts Feb. 23 about Titan's fiscal 2011 results, Mr. Taylor said Titan Executive Vice President William Campbell and CFO Paul Reitz made multiple trips to France in January and February, meeting with officials from Goodyear, the French government and the unions representing workers at Goodyear's Amiens, France, plant that is the center of the hangup.
These meetings have resulted in the restructuring of some elements on the acquisition agreement, he said, which hopefully will result in an agreement before the end of the quarter.
Goodyear originally put the business up for sale in May 2009. The purchase price was expected to be about $17 million, Goodyear said, before the put option expired. Mr. Taylor has estimated on a number of occasions the business represents about $400 million in annual revenue short term.