Press Release

Cooper Tire Announces Plans to Own 100 Percent of Mexico Joint Venture Facility

Company Release - 11/1/2019 7:15 PM ET

FINDLAY, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: CTB) today announced that it plans to increase ownership in its Mexico joint venture tire manufacturing facility, Corporación de Occidente S.A. de C.V. (COOCSA), from 58 percent to 100 percent. Cooper and Trabajadores Democraticos de Occidente S.C. de R.L. de C.V. (TRADOC), which owns 42 percent of the joint venture, have entered into a definitive agreement under which Cooper will purchase TRADOC’s stake in COOCSA. A majority of TRADOC members today voted in favor of the agreement.

Pending government approval and other customary closing conditions, it is expected that the transaction will close in early 2020. In the meantime, operations at the facility, which makes passenger car and light truck tires, will continue as usual. Cooper and TRADOC have been partners in the joint venture plant, which is located near Guadalajara, since 2008.

“Full ownership of COOCSA is an important step in our strategic plan to optimize our global manufacturing footprint with cost-competitive production of quality tires to meet market demand, in this case throughout Latin America, as well as in North America,” said Cooper President & Chief Executive Officer Brad Hughes. “We will continue to make investments to modernize the facility in the future as it produces millions of high quality tires. Cooper is thankful for the efforts over the past 11 years of our JV partner, TRADOC, and we look forward to continuing to work with them and everyone at the plant as we pursue what we are confident will be a successful future in Mexico.”

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains what the company believes are “forward-looking statements,” as that term is defined under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, regarding projections, expectations or matters the company anticipates may happen with respect to the future performance of the industries in which it operates, the economies of the U.S. and other countries, or the performance of the company itself, which involve uncertainty and risk. Such forward-looking statements are generally, though not always, preceded by words such as “anticipates,” “expects,” “will,” “should,” “believes,” “projects,” “intends,” “plans,” “estimates,” and similar terms that connote a view to the future and are not merely recitations of historical fact. Such statements are made solely on the basis of the company’s current views and perceptions of future events, and there can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be true.

These forward-looking statements include, among others, statements regarding the company’s planned purchase of TRADOC’s stake in COOCSA, the expected timing of the completion of the transaction, permits and regulatory approvals, expected synergies and benefits of the transaction, the company’s planned investments in COOCSA, and expectations about future business plans and prospective performance and opportunities. There is no assurance that the potential transaction will be consummated, and there are a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements made herein, including the timing to consummate the potential transaction, the ability and timing to obtain required permits and regulatory approvals and satisfy other closing conditions, the company’s ability to finance planned investments in COOCSA and the company’s ability to realize the benefits contemplated by the potential transaction.

In addition, it is possible that actual results may differ materially from projections or expectations due to a variety of factors, including, but not limited to:

  • volatility in raw material and energy prices, including those of rubber, steel, petroleum-based products and natural gas or the unavailability of such raw materials or energy sources;
  • the failure of the company’s suppliers to timely deliver products or services in accordance with contract specifications;
  • changes to tariffs or trade agreements, or the imposition of new or increased tariffs or trade restrictions, imposed on tires, materials or manufacturing equipment which the company uses, including changes related to tariffs on tires, raw materials and tire manufacturing equipment imported into the U.S. from China or other countries;
  • changes in economic and business conditions in the world, including changes related to the United Kingdom’s decision to withdraw from the European Union;
  • the inability to obtain and maintain price increases to offset higher production, tariffs or material costs;
  • the impact of the recently enacted tax reform legislation;
  • increased competitive activity including actions by larger competitors or lower-cost producers;
  • the failure to achieve expected sales levels;
  • changes in the company’s customer or supplier relationships or distribution channels, including the write-off of outstanding accounts receivable or loss of particular business for competitive, credit, liquidity, bankruptcy, restructuring or other reasons;
  • the failure to develop technologies, processes or products needed to support consumer demand or changes in consumer behavior, including changes in sales channels;
  • the costs and timing of restructuring actions and impairments or other charges resulting from such actions, including the possible outcome of the recently announced decision to cease light vehicle tire production in the U.K., or from adverse industry, market or other developments;
  • consolidation or other cooperation by and among the company’s competitors or customers;
  • inaccurate assumptions used in developing the company’s strategic plan or operating plans, or the inability or failure to successfully implement such plans or to realize the anticipated savings or benefits from strategic actions;
  • risks relating to investments and acquisitions, including the failure to successfully integrate them into operations or their related financings may impact liquidity and capital resources;
  • the ultimate outcome of litigation brought against the company, including product liability claims, which could result in commitment of significant resources and time to defend and possible material damages against the company or other unfavorable outcomes;
  • a disruption in, or failure of, the company’s information technology systems, including those related to cybersecurity, could adversely affect the company’s business operations and financial performance;
  • government regulatory and legislative initiatives including environmental, healthcare, privacy and tax matters;
  • volatility in the capital and financial markets or changes to the credit markets and/or access to those markets;
  • changes in interest or foreign exchange rates or the benchmarks used for establishing the rates;
  • an adverse change in the company’s credit ratings, which could increase borrowing costs and/or hamper access to the credit markets;
  • failure to implement information technologies or related systems, including failure by the company to successfully implement ERP systems;
  • the risks associated with doing business outside of the U.S.;
  • technology advancements;
  • the inability to recover the costs to refresh existing products or develop and test new products or processes;
  • the impact of labor problems, including labor disruptions at the company, its joint ventures, or at one or more of its large customers or suppliers;
  • failure to attract or retain key personnel;
  • changes in pension expense and/or funding resulting from the company’s pension strategy, investment performance of the company’s pension plan assets and changes in discount rate or expected return on plan assets assumptions, or changes to related accounting regulations;
  • changes in the company’s relationship with its joint venture partners or suppliers, including any changes with respect to its former PCT joint venture’s production of TBR products;
  • the ability to find and develop alternative sources for products supplied by PCT;
  • a variety of factors, including market conditions, may affect the actual amount expended on stock repurchases; the company’s ability to consummate stock repurchases; changes in the company’s results of operations or financial conditions or strategic priorities may lead to a modification, suspension or cancellation of stock repurchases, which may occur at any time;
  • the inability to adequately protect the company’s intellectual property rights; and
  • the inability to use deferred tax assets.

It is not possible to foresee or identify all such factors. Any forward-looking statements in this release are based on certain assumptions and analyses made by the company in light of its experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors it believes are appropriate in the circumstances. Prospective investors are cautioned that any such statements are not a guarantee of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected.

The company makes no commitment to update any forward-looking statement included herein or to disclose any facts, events or circumstances that may affect the accuracy of any forward-looking statement, except as required by law. Further information covering issues that could materially affect financial performance is contained in the company’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).

About Cooper Tire & Rubber Company

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: CTB) is the parent company of a global family of companies that specializes in the design, manufacture, marketing and sale of passenger car, light truck, medium truck, motorcycle and racing tires. Cooper's headquarters is in Findlay, Ohio, with manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design operations within its family of companies located in more than one dozen countries around the world. For more information on Cooper, visit www.coopertire.com, www.facebook.com/coopertire or www.twitter.com/coopertire.

Investor Contact:
Jerry Bialek
419.424.4165
investorrelations@coopertire.com

Media Contact:
Anne Roman
419.429.7189
alroman@coopertire.com

Source: Cooper Tire & Rubber Company