FINDLAY, Ohio (Sept. 16, 2013) — Apollo Tyres Ltd. and Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. are engaged in talks with the United Steelworkers to reach an "amicable resolution quickly" to the union's challenge of Apollo's pending acquisition of Cooper on the matter of "successorship" regarding labor contracts at two Cooper plants.
"Both Cooper and Apollo remain firmly committed to the strategic rationale for the pending merger," Cooper said in a prepared statement, "…and are optimistic that a mutually beneficial resolution with the USW can be reached."
Separately, Apollo said in its own statement: "Apollo looks forward to working with Cooper and the USW to resolve this matter. The strategic merits of Apollo's combination with Cooper are clear."
In its statement, Cooper also said it "will continue to assess its options" and that reaching a resolution quickly is key to minimizing "any impact on our original transaction closing schedule."
Cooper has scheduled a shareholders' meeting in Cleveland on Sept. 30 to vote on Apollo's pending $35 a share offer.
The USW sought arbitration in the deal to protect workers at Cooper's plants in Texarkana, Ark., and Findlay. Arbitrator James Oldham ruled in the USW's favor on Sept. 13.
Neither Cooper nor the USW said where or when meetings have taken place or will take place.