Cooper Buys Champion Shares: Cooper Industries Inc. has moved toward completing its merger agreement with Champion Spark Plug Co. by buying 83.2% of Champion’s common stock, a Cooper spokeswoman said. When completed, Cooper will have paid $707 million for all of Champion’s common stock. Ellen Meyers said Cooper, based in Houston, bought the shares for $21 apiece. Cooper needed 50.1% to take control. The merger was approved by directors of Cooper and Toledo-based Champion on Feb. 22. Champion is a leading manufacturer of spark plugs for all types of internal combustion engines.