Cooper Tire & Rubber falls on arbitration ruling

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Cooper Tire & Co. declined on Monday as an arbitration ruling stopped the sale of two plants to India's Apollo Tyres, putting up a roadblock to their acquisition deal.

THE BACKGROUND: Apollo Tyres Ltd. agreed to buy Cooper in June for $35 per share, or about $2.2 billion. The companies put the deal's value at approximately $2.5 billion. The company currently employs nearly 13,000 people around the world and has manufacturing plants on three continents. Its brands include Cooper, Mastercraft, Dean, Starfire, Roadmaster and others.

THE SPARK: On Friday an arbitrator upheld the United Steelworkers' rights related to the proposed sale of the plants in Findlay, Ohio and Texarkana, Ark. The union had filed two grievances related to the deal.

Arbitrator James Oldham recognized a successorship clause in the union's labor agreements with Cooper and ordered the company to put the sale of the plants on hold until the union and Apollo reach collective bargaining agreements.

SHARE ACTION: The stock fell 62 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $32.60 in midday trading. Over the past year, the shares have traded in a range of $18.38 to $34.79. The stock is up 31 percent for the year to date.