Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Financier Makes $4.7 Billion Bid to Buy 88.5% of Goodyear

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Financier Makes $4.7 Billion Bid to Buy 88.5% of Goodyear

Article excerpt

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - Financier Sir James Goldsmith disclosed Thursday that his investor group made a friendly offer to acquire the 88.5 percent of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. it does not already own for $49 a share, or $4.7 billion.

Goodyear, however, indicated its preference to continue its restructuring program, Goldsmith said. And he said his group would support the program if it gave Goodyear's stockholders more value thatthe group was prepared to pay.

But Goldsmith also held out the possibility that his group might pursue its offer at a later date.

Goodyear employs about 1,775 workers at a plant in Lawton. A plant spokesman said about 95 percent of the workers had signed a letter sent to company headquarters and expressing support for the company.

""Through your faith and support, we in Lawton have come to know Goodyear as far more than just a job,'' the letter says. ""This company is our lives. It is our family. It is our commitment.

""It is time now that we show that same faith and trust in you to do what is right for the corporation - what is right for our family. You have our total and unwavering commitment to all the thingsfor which Goodyear stands in our business work and personal lives.''

The letter also pledges support to continue the plant's high quality and low cost.

As part of its restructuring program, Goodyear announced plans Thursday to buy up to 20 million, or 18.3 percent, of its 109 million total common shares outstanding in the open market.

The company also said it might sell its aerospace subsidiary, and Goodyear already has said it plans to sell its Celeron Corp. energy unit.

Goldsmith's group said it would make a filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission explaining how Goldsmith made his takeover proposal.

The filing would amend the group's initial filing with the SEC a week ago, when the group disclosed its 11. …

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