By Phil Milford
Apollo Tyres Ltd. denied having “buyer’s remorse” in a proposed $2.5 billion buyout of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.
Cooper, based in Findlay, announced in June it would be bought by India-based Apollo for an agreed-on $35 a share.
When Apollo failed to close the deal as scheduled on Oct. 4, Cooper sued in Delaware Chancery Court to enforce the buyout and Apollo suggested a price reduction.
“Almost immediately after the merger agreement was announced, Apollo showed signs of buyer’s remorse,” Cooper claimed in its complaint. “Analysts immediately criticized Apollo for agreeing to take on too much debt for the transaction, and having overpaid,”
Apollo responded in a filing made public on Tuesday.
“This is not a case of buyer’s remorse,” the company said. “Apollo has long seen the strength of the strategic fit between Apollo and Cooper. It still sees that fit, and it is committed to acquiring Cooper.”
Apollo is allegedly trying to get a lower price by moving slowly in negotiating an agreement with United Steelworkers unions, Cooper contends in court papers. Cooper also said Apollo must deal with a strike involving a Cooper joint venture with a Chinese firm called Chengshan Group Co.
A trial is scheduled Nov. 5-7 on the transaction before Chancery Judge Sam Glasscock III, who granted the case fast-track status Oct. 9 in a telephone hearing from Georgetown, Del.