Less rubber reduces debt

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has reduced its ownership stake in Japan’s Sumitomo Rubber Industries.

Goodyear, which acquired a 10% ownership of Sumitomo as part of their 1999 global alliance, has sold 20.83 million shares of the company for approximately $83.4 million, of which Sumitomo bought 20.33 million.

Goodyear now holds about 1.5% of Sumitomo and will take a non-cash charge of approximately $10 million (6 cents per share) related to the transaction in the second quarter.

The two companies have six joint ventures between them, including tyre manufacturing and sales operations in North America and Europe.

Goodyear said it will use most of the proceeds of the transaction to reduce debt.

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