FINDLAY — The clock is now ticking for a Chinese subsidiary of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. to decide whether it wants to buy out the U.S. tiremaker’s operation overseas.
Cooper said Tuesday an independent valuation firm has determined Cooper Chengshan Tire Co. Ltd. is worth approximately $440 million.
The valuation is an important step in determining the future of the plant, which contributed significantly to the derailment of Cooper’s proposed sale to an Indian tiremaker last year. Chinese workers there went on strike soon after the deal with Apollo Tyres Ltd. was announced. Local management also withheld financial data.
Production at the plant has been back to normal since earlier this year, thanks in part to an agreement that allows Cooper’s Chinese partners a chance to buy Cooper’s 65 percent share. Chengshan has 45 days to either purchase Cooper’s share or sell out to the Findlay tire company.
The plant makes bus and truck tires that Cooper sells in the United States. Cooper officials say whatever happens the company is committed to a strong future in China.