FINDLAY, Ohio (Jan. 6, 2016) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is buying a 65-percent stake in China's Qingdao Ge Rui Da Rubber Co. Ltd. (GRT) for about $93 million and plans to source its Roadmaster radial truck and bus tires from GRT's plant in Pingdu, Qingdao Province.
The deal is expected to close during the first half of 2016 pending certain permits and approvals by the Chinese government, Cooper said. GRT was founded in 2014 by Qingdao Yiyuan Investment Co. Ltd., which purchased the assets of the then-idled facility. Prior to that it was known as Qingdao Guang Ming Tire Co. Ltd.
The new venture will be called Cooper Qingdao Tire Co. Ltd. (CQT) once the deal closes, Cooper said. The transaction price covers the acquisition and initial investments in the operation.
At full capacity, the factory will be capable of producing 2.5 million to 3 million radial truck tires annually, although it is producing currently at a rate of “several hundred thousand” units a year, Cooper Chairman, CEO and President Roy Armes said in a conference call with analysts.
Cooper also said the venture may add passenger tires at some point, with an annual capacity similar to that for truck tires. Cooper already produces car tires in China at its Cooper (Kunshan) Tire Co. Ltd. subsidiary in Kunshan.