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Judge: Apollo Tires' union talks did not breach Cooper deal

An employee works inside the warehouse at the Apollo Super Zone showroom in Mumbai October 8, 2013. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
An employee works inside the warehouse at the Apollo Super Zone showroom in Mumbai October 8, 2013. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

(Reuters) - Apollo Tires Ltd did not breach its obligation to try to negotiate with unions in its failed deal with Cooper Tire & Rubber Co, a Delaware judge said on Friday, according to a person attending the hearing.

Cooper had accused Apollo of India of intentionally dragging its feet in talks with the United Steel Workers as an excuse to seek a reduction in the original $2.5 billion agreement, which did not close by October 4 as anticipated.

Cooper shares fell sharply as the judge's comments reached investors. The shares ended down 11.45 percent at $23.82 on the New York Stock Exchange. Apollo had agreed to buy Cooper for $35 per share.

(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware)

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