Carlisle: Titan merger won’t happen

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 25, 1999

Carlisle Companies, a Syracuse, N.Y.-based tire and wheel company, will not merge with Titan International, officials of both companies confirmed Monday.

The statements of Carlisle Vice President John Barsanti and Titan CEO Morry Taylor came less than three months after Carlisle signed a letter of intent to acquire the Quincy, Ill.-based wheel and tire maker for $600 million. Carlisle let the letter expire on Sept. 18.

Barsanti would not say why talks between the companies broke off, only saying that &uot;the merger is off.&uot;

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&uot;It won’t affect us. (Carlisle’s) stock price has gone down so far that it wouldn’t have made sense anyway,&uot; Taylor said. &uot;We would have had to be crazy to merge with them.&uot;

Carlisle’s stock price closed at $32 3/8 a share Monday, down from more than $40 a share in late September. Meanwhile, Titan’s stock closed a $7 1/4 a share, down from more than $14 in mid-July.

Taylor would not say whether any other companies are now seeking to merge with Titan. &uot;But we’re not going to sell out just to sell out,&uot;&160;he said.

United Steelworkers of America Local 303L, which has been on strike from Titan Tire’s Natchez plant since September 1998, had expressed hope that a change in ownership would bring them closer to getting a new contract.

Leo &uot;T-Bone&uot; Bradley, president of Local 303L, would not comment on the officials’ statements Monday. Carlisle posted net earnings of $84.9 million last year. It has four divisions:&160;construction materials, automotive products, general industry and industrial components.

Titan posted net income of more than $8.15 million last year.