The Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Company has said it is “exploring” the possible sale of its engineered products business and has appointed JP Morgan Securities and Goldman, Sachs & Co. as financial advisors.

The business employs 7,000 people in 30 facilitiees worldwide and makes engineered rubber products for industrial, military, consumer and transportation original equipment end-users. Products include hose, conveyor belts, power transmission products, moulded products and air springs. In 2004, the business had sales of approximately $US1.5 billion and segment operating income of $113 million.

“Engineered Products is an outstanding business, with great associates, products and customers,” said Goodyear chairman and chief executive officer Robert Keegan. The business has achieved year-over-year growth in both sales and earnings in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

“While Engineered Products is performing well, it is a non-core operation for Goodyear. As we continue to build on the considerable progress we have made in recent years, we believe the best course of action is to focus all of our resources on the growth of our core consumer and commercial tyre businesses,” added Keegan.