Goodyear's purchase of Cooper Tire gets Chinese antitrust approval

Apr. 27—Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co's proposed acquisition of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has received approval from China's State Administration for Market Regulation.

The Chinese antitrust agency approved the deal last last week.

Goodyear in February offered $2.8 billion in cash and stock. The Akron, Ohio-based company said it expects to save about $165 million within two years following the close of the transaction. The majority of the cost savings will be related to overlapping corporate functions and do not include manufacturing-related savings.

Cooper Tire has operated a plant in Tupelo since 1984, were it employs some 1,500 workers.

Goodyear shareholders will own about 84% of the combined company, and Cooper shareholders will own 16%.

The merger is expected to close in the second half of this year. It will doubles Goodyear's presence in China and also broadens distribution for Cooper replacement tires through Goodyear's network of 2,500 retail stores in the country. The U.S. and China, the two largest tire markets in the world, account for about one-third of global industry volume.

The combined company will also benefit from Goodyear's original equipment and Cooper's strength in the rapidly growing light truck and SUV product segments.