By the Blouin News Business staff

Apollo Tyres rolls into America

by in Asia-Pacific, U.S..

Apollo Tyres promotional image

Apollo Tyres promotional image

The name may be as unfamiliar as the spelling to U.S. drivers, but Apollo Tyres is no unknown in its corner of the global auto-parts aftermarket. Its newly announced $2.5 billion acquisition of Cooper Tire & Rubber — the Ohio-based tire maker that is the world’s eleventh-largest with annual sales of $4.2 billion — follows acquisitions that included Dutch tire maker Vredestein Tires in 2009 and South Africa-based Dunlop Tyres International three years earlier.

This latest deal will make Apollo the world’s seventh-largest tire maker with annual sales of upwards of $6.5 billion across four continents. With car sales in India, Apollo’s largest market, falling for the first time in a decade and its sales in its second largest market, Europe, at a 20-year low, Apollo┬áchairman Onkar Kanwar needed to find new and growing markets for his company’s premium and mid-tier tires.

The U.S. fits the bill on both counts — plus Cooper brings an expanded access to China, where it is a top-10 manufacturer of bus and truck tires and a supplier to the growing local manufacturing by U.S. automakers. However, at a 40% premium to Cooper’s pre-announcement share price, Kanwar is paying richly for his new tires.