January 8, 2016 11:00 AM, EST

Cooper Tire Agrees to Buy Majority Stake In Chinese Rubber Company

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has entered into an agreement to purchase 65% of China-based Qingdao Ge Rui Da Rubber Co. for about $93 million and will rename the business Cooper Qingdao Tire Co.

Cooper, which makes tires for heavy-duty trucks and provides tread rubber and other equipment for the retread industry, said the transaction is expected to close during the first half of the year pending certain permits and approvals from the Chinese government.

The Findlay, Ohio-based company said the Chinese operation will serve as a global source of up to 3 million truck and bus radial tires a year, including its Roadmaster brand for the North American market as well as truck and bus radial tires for Asia and other markets.

Cooper Chairman and CEO Roy Armes said in a statement, “This is a great strategic fit within our existing and highly productive worldwide manufacturing network and will allow us to further optimize our global footprint.”

Cooper has U.S. manufacturing facilities in Findlay; Texarkana, Arkansas, and Tupelo, Mississippi, as well as plants in Kunshan, China; Melksham, England; Krusevac, Serbia, and a joint venture plant near Guadalajara, Mexico.