Carlisle letter of intent expires

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 23, 1999

Carlisle Inc. has let its letter of intent to buy Titan Tire expire – but officials of both companies have said they plan to continue discussions about the purchase.

On Aug. 4, Syracuse, N.Y.-based Carlisle announced that it had signed a letter of intent to acquire Titan for $600 million.

&uot;We’re still talking,&uot;&160;said Morry Taylor, chief executive officer of Titan International. He said Carlisle CEO Stephen Munn will probably meet with Titan’s Board of Directors in early October.

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According to a press release from Carlisle, that company simply could not take all steps necessary to complete a definitive merger agreement by Sept. 18, the date the letter of intent expired.

Such steps include getting shareholder approval, completing paperwork and representatives of each company visiting the other company’s facilities.

Now that the letter of intent has expired, other companies are free to make their own offers to purchase Titan, although no such offers have been announced – or are likely to be announced, at least by Taylor.

Other companies could make offers &uot;if they so choose,&uot;&160;Taylor said. &uot;But if they had, I&160;couldn’t tell you.&uot;

Taylor denied that Titan’s trouble with the United Steelworkers of America – Local 303L&160;has been on strike from the Natchez plant for more than a year – has not scared Carlisle away from the Titan deal.

Union officials have been hopeful that a change in ownership of the company would bring them closer to getting a new contract.

Leo &uot;T-Bone&uot;&160;Bradley, president of Local 303L, could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Taylor maintains that buying Titan would be a good move for Carlisle.

&uot;It would make sense,&uot;&160;he said. &uot;But only time will tell.&uot;