Bandag shareholders OK sale to Bridgestone for $1.05B

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Bandag Inc. shareholders on Tuesday, April 3, approved the sale of the retread tire manufacturer to a subsidiary of Japan-based Bridgestone Corp., the world’s largest tire manufacturer, for $1.05 billion. Bandag will become a subsidiary of Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas Holding after the deal closes, which is expected in the second quarter.

Bandag spokesman Bill Block said the companies are awaiting regulatory approval in Europe and Canada, but anticipate no problems. In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission have approved the deal. Bandag CEO Martin Carver presided over the company’s final shareholder meeting, during which 88.9 percent of common stock shares and 81.4 percent of class A share were voted in person or by proxy, Block said.

A vote total was not immediately released, but Block said a majority of shares represented approved the sale. Bandag and Bridgestone announced the proposed deal on Dec. 5, 2006. Bridgestone will acquire the outstanding shares of each class of Bandag stock for $50.75 per share. Bridgestone officials said they plan to keep Bandag operations in Muscatine, Iowa, as a subsidiary.

Bandag was founded in 1957 by Carver’s father, Roy Carver, who obtained North American rights to the Bandag tire retreading system from a German inventor. The company has become a world leader in truck tire retreading products and services with manufacturing plants in Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, Muscatine and five other U.S. locations. Bandag serves trucking fleets through more than 900 franchisees in nearly 100 different countries. In North America, a dealer network includes more than 1,600 sales and service locations.

Carver, who will serve as a consultant to Bridgestone during the transition period, said the merger still presents a “golden opportunity” for Bandag employees, customers and dealers to continue to prosper. Mark Emkes, chairman and CEO of Bridgestone Americas, said Bandag’s business will allow the combined company to offer customers a comprehensive tire maintenance solution, backed by a complete line of new and retread truck tire offerings.