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Cooper to Buy 11% of Kumho

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company has reached an agreement to acquire approximately 11% of the common equity of Kumho Tire. The acquisition is in connection with a planned initial public offering to be listed on the Korea Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange and is expected to close in the first quarter 2005. The agreement is subject to a number of government and regulatory approvals.
Cooper Tire, Findlay, Ohio, recently completed the sale of its automotive unit for $1.165 billion. Kumho Tire's net sales for the first nine months of 2004 were $1.2 billion while Cooper's net tire sales for the same period were $1.5 billion.
"This is a wise investment for us as we begin the process of repositioning the company after the sale of Cooper-Standard Automotive,” said Thomas A. Dattilo, Cooper's chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We believe it is important for Cooper to form strategic relationships with other strong players in the global tire industry to realize a good return for shareholders and continue our planned growth in products, technology and market share.
"Even though both Kumho Tire and Cooper will continue to operate independently, we believe we can partner in many areas for future benefit to all.”

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