Cooper Tyre & Rubber Company has bought a stake in a tyre manufacturing facility in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The facility will be jointly owned by Cooper, IBSA (a Mexican holding corporation) and Cooperativa Tradoc S (employee owners of the Occidente facility). Cooper ownership is 38% in return for US$31m.

Corporacion de Occidente is the second-largest tyre plant in Mexico, is located on 17.3 acres, and currently produces 2.4m passenger radial tyres per year. Expansion plans are in place to bring that capacity to an estimated 4.6m by the end of 2010, and 6m during 2011. Currently there are approximately 700 manufacturing employees.

Cooper chairman, president and CEO Roy Armes said, "This is an important step in the implementation of our strategic plan and our access to cost-competitive sourcing."

In October 2007, Cooper announced a 50-50 joint venture to form a trading company with Nemet International, responsible for the marketing, sales and distribution of the Cooper and Pneustone brands in Mexico. This trading company will continue to operate as a separate entity.