Apollo Tyres to take Cooper Tire to court after US co ends $ 2.5 bn deal

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Cooper Tire said Apollo Tyres notified the company that financing for the deal was no longer available. (AP) Cooper Tire said Apollo Tyres notified the company that financing for the deal was no longer available. (AP)
SummaryAnnouncement follows court ruling favouring Apollo Tyres in spat over merger with Cooper Tire.

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co today terminated its troubled USD 2.5-billion merger agreement with India's Apollo Tyres, which said it will take legal action against the US-based firm.

"It is time to move our business forward. While the strategic rationale for a business combination with Apollo Tyres Ltd is compelling, it is clear the merger agreement both companies signed on June 12 will not be consummated by Apollo," Cooper Chairman CEO and President Roy Armes said in a statement.

"We have been notified that financing for the transaction is no longer available. The right thing for Cooper now is to focus on continuing to build our business," he added.

The announcement follows a Delaware Supreme Court ruling earlier this month in favour of Apollo Tyres in its spat over the proposed merger pact, which was announced in June this year.

Expressing disappointment over the deal falling apart, Apollo Tyres in a statement said: "Apollo is disappointed that Cooper has prematurely attempted to terminate our merger agreement....Cooper's actions leave Apollo no choice but to pursue legal remedies for Cooper's detrimental conduct."

"...Cooper's lack of control over its largest subsidiary and inability to meet its legal and contractual financial reporting obligations has considerably complicated the situation," it said.

Apollo has made exhaustive efforts to find a sensible way forward over the last several months but Cooper has been "unwilling to work constructively to complete a transaction," it added.

Stating that the US-based firm was keeping its legal options open, Armes said: "While Cooper believes Apollo has breached the merger agreement, and we will continue to pursue the legal steps necessary to protect the interests of our company and our stockholders, our focus will be squarely on our business and moving it forward."

On November 12, pushing for an early completion of their merger deal, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co had filed with the Delaware Supreme Court an appeal against the partial ruling on November 8, 2013 by Delaware Chancery Court.

Under the partial ruling of the lower court, Cooper and Apollo were required "to continue to perform their obligations under the merger agreement" till December 31, 2013, the date through which the agreement was to remain in effect.

In October, Cooper filed a complaint in Delaware Court of Chancery to push for completion of their merger and stated that the Indian firm was seeking to delay an agreement with

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