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Briefs

Cooper Tire scraps deal with rival

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is calling off its sale to India’s Apollo Tyres, unraveling a $2.2 billion deal announced just over six months ago.

Cooper said financing is no longer available, and it continues to claim, as it has for months, that Apollo breached the terms of the agreement.

Apollo said after the announcement Monday, which it called disappointing, that it may pursue legal remedies.

Both companies agreed to the sale in June, but things deteriorated rapidly. Negotiations with the union representing Cooper employees became a sticking point.

Apollo sought a better price, citing labor issues in China and weaker profit, which Cooper said was a stalling tactic. The Findlay, Ohio, company took its claim to a Delaware court, but a ruling last month found no breach of obligations on Apollo’s part.

Cooper Chairman and CEO Roy Armes said Monday that the tiremaker never received a new offer from Apollo that came with committed financing, and that presented “unreasonable risk” for his company.

Signed contracts for US homes level off

The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy existing homes in November was essentially unchanged from October, suggesting sales are stabilizing after several months of declines.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index ticked up to 101.7 from 101.5 in October.

The October figure was revised lower from an initial reading of 102.1.

Higher mortgage rates and strong price gains over the past two years have slowed sales. The pending home sales index had fallen for five straight months before November. And completed sales of existing homes fell for three straight months, the Realtors said earlier this month.

There is generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.

Genzyme MS drug kept off US shelves

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has notified drugmaker Genzyme that its treatment for multiple sclerosis is not ready for approval for the American market.

The French pharmaceutical company Sanofi, parent firm of Genzyme, said Monday the FDA said the companies had not submitted sufficient evidence to show the benefits of Lemtrada. The drug was approved by the European Medicines Agency for use in the EU earlier this year.

It also has been approved in Canada and Australia. Sanofi said it strongly disagrees with the FDA’s decision, and it plans to appeal.

The French drugmaker is eager to bring new drugs to the market at a time when it is suffering from generic competition after patents on some drugs lapsed.

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