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Goodyear takes stronger position in NZ

Goodyear takes stronger position in Australia & New Zealand

Melbourne, Australia - 16 December 2005…

Today, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and Ansell Limited announced that Goodyear has reached agreement in principle on the final terms to acquire Ansell’s interest in SOUTH PACIFIC TYRES (SPT), pending government and other approvals. Upon completion of the transaction, Goodyear will own 100 percent of SPT.

SPT Chief Executive Officer Joseph Copeland said the acquisition was indicative of Goodyear’s commitment to maintaining a leadership position in Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Copeland said Goodyear plans to continue to manufacture and market the leading Goodyear and Dunlop tyre range, and that it would maintain and grow its network of Beaurepaires, Goodyear Auto Service Centre, Dunlop Super Dealers and Frank Allen Tyres (New Zealand) retail stores.

“We see exciting opportunities for Goodyear in this market – both for our employees, our suppliers, our customers and of course, our consumers,” said Mr Copeland.

“And finally, with the support and total commitment of the global Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, this announcement means the significant resources of the world’s leading tyremaker can be further utilised to create a much stronger market position and presence locally for SPT. The Australian and New Zealand consumer will be the winner,” Mr Copeland added.

SPT is Australia and New Zealand’s largest marketer and manufacturer of passenger and commercial vehicle tyres, and employs approximately 4000 people across management, retail sales and marketing, wholesale and distribution.

SPT is custodian of the household-name Goodyear, Dunlop, and Beaurepaires brands, and operates a national retreading operation servicing the regions air and road freight operators.

Goodyear’s acquisition of Ansell Limited’s share of SPT is expected to be complete in January, 2006, pending approvals.

Ends…

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