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Goodyear to buy Cooper, joining two American tire companies

Toby Talbot/Associated Press


Goodyear to buy Cooper, joining two American tire companies

Two of the biggest remaining American tire companies are joining forces. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is acquiring Cooper in a deal with an equity value of $2.8 billion that will combine the two century-old Ohio manufacturers. Cooper, founded in 1914, is the fifth largest tire maker in North America based on revenue. The company has about 10,000 employees in 15 countries. In addition to the Cooper brand, it also owns Mastercraft, Roadmaster, and Mickey Thompson. For Goodyear, the bigger company, the deal will nearly double its presence in China. Cooper will get access to Goodyear’s 2,500 retail locations. The companies had combined sales of $19.5 billion in 2019. By combining, the new company would save about $165 million within two years of closing and free up cash in tax savings. It will also bring an array of tire brands together under one roof, including Goodyear’s Dunlop and Kelly brands, and Cooper’s Mastercraft and Mickey Thompson brands. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Microsoft teams up with European publishers to force tech platforms to pay for news

Microsoft is teaming up with European publishers to push for a system to make big tech platforms pay for news, raising the stakes in the brewing battle led by Australia to get Google and Facebook to pay for journalism. The US tech giant and four big European Union news industry groups unveiled their plan Monday to work together on a solution to “mandate payments’' for use of news content from online “gatekeepers with dominant market power.” They said they will “take inspiration’' from proposed legislation in Australia to force tech platforms to share revenue with news companies and which includes an arbitration system to resolve disputes over a fair price for news. Facebook last week blocked Australians from accessing and sharing news on its platform, in response to the government’s proposals, but the surprise move sparked a big public backlash and intensified the debate over how much power it has. Google, meanwhile, has been taking a different tack by cutting payment deals with news organizations, after backing down from its initial threat to shut off its search engine for Australians. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Yellen says Biden favors higher corporate taxes, open to capital gains hike

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said President Biden favors boosting taxes on companies, and signaled openness to considering raising rates on capital gains, while steering clear of a wealth levy. “A wealth tax has been discussed but is not something President Biden” favors, Yellen said at a virtual conference on Monday hosted by the New York Times. She said such a tax would have significant implementation problems. The administration is looking to boost the corporate tax to 28 percent, Yellen said. The Treasury chief said last week that revenue measures would be needed to help pay for Biden’s planned longer-term economic reconstruction program to help address concerns about debt sustainability. Yellen also said that a hike in the capital-gains tax might be something “worth considering.” Asked about a financial-transactions tax, she said, “One would have to examine closely what effect it would have” on ordinary investors. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


De Beers raises prices as industry recovers

De Beers lifted diamond prices at its third consecutive sale as an industrywide recovery from the coronavirus pandemic gathers pace. The world’s biggest diamond producer raised prices by about 4 percent at its second sale of the year, according to people familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Diamond prices are rebounding after the pandemic brought the industry to an almost complete standstill in the first half of last year. Strong holiday sales in the United States and positive signs from the Chinese New Year have seen buyers rush to replenish their stocks of rough stones. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Shut out by US, Huawei introduces China-only phone

Struggling under US sanctions, Huawei unveiled a folding smartphone with an 8-inch-wide screen Monday to show off its tech prowess but said it will be sold only in China. The Mate X2 highlights the challenges for Huawei Technologies Ltd. after Washington cut off access to US processor chips and Google services. Last year, Huawei fell from the top-selling global smartphone brand to sixth place. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Exxon Mobil facing pressure on climate goals

Exxon Mobil has already upped its climate plans, only three months into an activist investor’s campaign to force change inside the company. Now the group, Engine No. 1, is pushing the oil giant to set a new goal: net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Engine No. 1 released a letter on Monday reiterating its call for Exxon to overhaul its board of directors by adding four new members who have the expertise to steer the company towards climate neutrality. That’s a goal already adopted by European oil producers such as BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and Total. Exxon and fellow US supermajor Chevron have resisted. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Activists want Kohl’s to name new slate of directors

Kohl’s is under pressure from a group of activists who want to name nine directors to control its board and are pressing the retailer to reduce inventory and quit its “dizzying array of promotional gimmicks.” The investors, which hold a combined stake of about 9.5 percent, called out the board’s lack of retail experience and limited ownership of Kohl’s shares in a statement Monday. The group includes Macellum Advisors GP LLC, Ancora Holdings Inc., Legion Partners Asset Management LLC, and 4010 Capital LLC. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



LVMH buys stake in Jay-Z’s champagne company

LVMH’s Moet Hennessy has bought a 50 percent stake in Armand de Brignac, a Champagne producer owned by rapper Jay-Z, another sign of a close relationship between the luxury industry and hip-hop culture. No financial terms were disclosed for Monday’s transaction. Armand de Brignac sold more than half a million bottles in 2019, at $300 and up. The rap star has been an investor in the brand since 2006, when he touted the brand, known for its Ace of Spades logo on a metallic silver bottle, in a video for “Show Me What You Got.” Jay-Z bought out Sovereign Brands’s stake in the company in 2014. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Oscar Health looking to raise $1 billion in IPO

Oscar Health Inc., the health insurance startup co-founded by Josh Kushner, is seeking as much as $1 billion in its US initial public offering. The New York-based company and its existing shareholders are offering 31 million class A shares at $32 to $34 apiece, according to a Monday filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. At the top end of that range, the Oscar Health would have a market capitalization of $6.7 billion, according to Bloomberg calculations. Kushner, managing director of the venture firm Thrive Capital, is the brother of Jared Kushner, son-in-law and onetime senior adviser to former president Donald Trump. Google’s parent Alphabet, Fidelity Management, Founders Fund, General Catalyst, and Khosla Ventures are also among shareholders. The company reported a $407 million net loss on $1.7 billion in revenue in 2020 compared to a $261 million net loss on $1 billion in revenue the year before due to increased insurance costs and interest expenses. — BLOOMBERG NEWS