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Cooper to Explore Sale of Automotive Business

Cooper Tire & Rubber is considering selling its Cooper-Standard Automotive Group. According to Thomas Dattilo, chairman, president and CEO of Cooper Tire & Rubber, said the company will be best served at this time by focusing on its tire business.

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FINDLAY, OH — Cooper Tire & Rubber is considering selling its Cooper-Standard Automotive Group.

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Cooper-Standard Automotive is a leading manufacturer of fluid handling systems, body sealing systems and active and passive vibration control systems, primarily for automotive original equipment manufacturers. Headquartered in Novi, Mich., the group had revenue of approximately $1.66 billion in 2003.

According to Thomas Dattilo, chairman, president and CEO of Cooper Tire & Rubber, said the company will be best served at this time by focusing on its tire business.

“Over the past few years, we have invested a significant amount of effort building our automotive business into a leader in its respective markets,” said Dattilo. “At this time, our board of directors believes that it is appropriate to evaluate strategic alternatives for the group. We believe that Cooper Tire & Rubber may best be served by dedicating our resources to investing in our tire business and further pursuing global expansion.”

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The company has retained Lazard Freres to assist in exploring the sale. If this process results in a sale, the company said it may use net proceeds to reduce debt, invest in tire operations, return capital to stockholders, repurchase shares or a combination of all these options.

For more information, visit the Company’s Web site: www.coopertireandrubber.com.

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