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Titan Buyout Deal to Close Next Month

(Akron/Tire Review) The sale of Titan International Inc. to One Equity Partners, a private equity group of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., should be completed by the end of February, according to Maurice Taylor Jr., Titan’s chairman and CEO.

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Taylor said the special board committee of Titan directors formed to pursue talks with One Equity will vote on the deal by the middle of February. Shareholders will vote at the end of the month, he said.

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One Equity offered Titan $360 million, or $18 per share, and plans to take the company private, according to reports.

In October, activist hedge fund Jana Partners spoke out against the proposed “merger” between Titan International and One Equity, calling the $18-per-share offer “well below the true value of the company.”

On Dec. 22, 2005, Titan Tire Corp., a subsidiary of Titan International, completed its $100 million purchase of Goodyear’s North American agricultural tire assets. The acquisition included an ag tire plant in Freeport, Ill.

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