Apollo Tyres, founded in 1972, has an international reputation for high performance tyres across a portfolio of premium and mid-tier brands, including the flagship Apollo brand and Vredestein. Cooper, the 11th-largest tyre company in the world by revenue, was founded in 1914 and today supplies premium and mid-tier tyres worldwide through renowned brands such as Cooper, Mastercraft, Starfire, Chengshan, Roadmaster and Avon. The combined company will be the seventh-largest tyre company in the world and will have a strong presence in high-growth end-markets across four continents. With a combined USD 6.6 billion in total sales in 2012, the combined company will have a full range of brands and greater ability to satisfy customer needs worldwide. The combination is expected to deliver value creation benefits of approximately USD 80 - 120 million per annum at the EBITDA level. The close of the transaction, assuming timely regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, as well as approval by Cooper's stockholders, is expected to take place within the second half of 2013. Following the close, Cooper will become a privately held company. It is expected that Cooper will continue to be led by members of its current management team and will continue to operate out of its facilities located around the world.[image_0]Onkar S. Kanwar, Chairman of Apollo, stated, "This transformational transaction provides an unprecedented opportunity to serve customers across a host of geographies in both developed and fast-growing emerging markets around the world. Cooper is one of the most respected names in the tyre industry, with an extensive distribution network and manufacturing infrastructure, and a particularly robust presence in North America and China. The combined company will be uniquely positioned to address large, established markets, such as the United States and the European Union, as well as the fast-growing markets of India, China, Africa, and Latin America where there is significant potential for further growth. Our combined portfolio of brands and products will be amongst the most comprehensive in the industry.[image_1_right] Roy Armes, Cooper's Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, said, "This is a compelling transaction that is in the best interest of Cooper's stockholders and offers attractive benefits to our customers and employees. We have watched Apollo's successful transformation into a major global tyre group, and have a great deal of respect for the company and its leadership. Together, our two organizations have almost no geographic overlap and significant opportunities for growth. We share a commitment to innovation, quality, and customer service, as well as to the core values of safety, environmental sustainability, the development of our people and giving back to our communities. We look forward to working together to drive continued growth in a dynamic global tyre business where increased scale and expanded manufacturing footprint help to ensure long-term success.Neeraj Kanwar, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Apollo, said, "The combined company's diversified product offering will serve the passenger car, light and heavy truck, farm, and off-the-road vehicle segments. Our extended global reach will create opportunities to provide our customers and distributors around the world with increased access to the quality tyres they have come to expect from each of our respective brands. Together, we will have a significant presence in each of the three largest automotive markets in the world, namely the United States, Europe and China.