FINDLAY, Ohio (Dec.1, 2016) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has completed its purchase of a 65-percent interest in China's Qingdao Ge Rui Da Rubber Co., Ltd. (GRT) under terms that were previously announced.
Cooper announced plans to buy the stake, for about $93 million, in January.
GRT produces radial truck and bus tires for global markets at its 1-million-sq.-ft. plant in Pingdu, Qingdao Province, China, and in the future will produce tires for Cooper customers in the U.S. and elsewhere. Cooper sells truck tires under the Roadmaster brand.
Cooper and GRT are considering adding capacity for radial passenger tires at the plant, which has room for further expansion.
“Our partnership with GRT is an important step in Cooper's strategic plan as it diversifies our TBR tire supply beyond a single source,” said President and CEO Brad Hughes.
“Cooper is committed to delivering high-quality tires with superior value to our TBR customers. In addition to this exciting new partnership with GRT, we continue to actively evaluate other options around the globe for additional sources of supply.
“We are pleased with the team at GRT as they possess deep industry and technical knowledge and there is a strong workforce in place at the facility, which offers space for expansion to accommodate future growth. We are proud to welcome everyone at GRT into the Cooper family and look forward to many years of success together.”
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. The transaction price covers the acquisition and initial investments in the operation, Cooper said in January.
Cooper did not comment on what impact the elevated import duties that the U.S. government is levying on truck tires imported from China might have on GRT and its ability to supply competitively priced truck tires in the U.S.