FINDLAY, OH (Toledo News Now) - It has been a tumultuous year for workers at Cooper Tire in Findlay, and now another rumor has been thrown into the mix. According to The Economic Times, Apollo Tyres out of India has shown interest in buying the northwest Ohio tire company.
Earlier this year, workers at the Cooper Tire and Rubber Company approved a new labor contract, ending a long lockout. On Thursday, an article by The Economic Times says Cooper Tire could be bought by a foreign tire manufacturer.
Apollo Tyres has begun the process of acquiring a majority stake in the Findlay-based company. Based out of Gurgoan, India, Apollo's website says the company has targeted a goal to become a top 10 world supplier of tires, and having a manufacturing facility in the United States is crucial.
If the deal goes through, this would be the third tire company Apollo has acquired over a six-year period. They acquired a South African company in 2006 and a Dutch manufacturer in 2009.
Cooper Tire is currently valued at $1.3 billion on the New York Stock Exchange. The overall cost of buying the company would be between $600 and $800 million.
Anne Roman, vice president of Communications & Public Affairs for Cooper Tire says "Cooper Tire has a strict policy of not commenting on rumors and speculation in the market."
The Cooper Tire Workers Union, USW Local 207, declined to comment as well.
Residents in Findlay know it is early in the process, but hope that the purchase of the factory will not mean people losing their jobs.
"My initial response is ‘I don't like it at all.' I know people that do work at Cooper, and it's local. I like the fact that it is local , and I'd like to keep jobs here if we can," said Matt Hayden, a Findlay resident.
More than a thousand people work at the plant.
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