Asahi Glass to spin off ceramic ops

Asahi Glass Co. will turn the parent company's ceramics business division into a 100% unit April 1. The move is aimed rationalizing and revitalizing the ceramics operations, which Asahi Glass regards as one of the group's key business sectors.

Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. and Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH have signed a letter of intent to jointly market in Japan the hypertension treatment agent telmisartan. The agent, marketed in other countries under the trademark "Micardis," has been developed by Boehringer Ingelheim.

Maruha Corp. will spin off its troll fishing operations on March 1 in order to better cope with severe business conditions. Troll fishing accounted for 0.89% of its total revenue for the year ended March 2001. Maruha will take a 100% stake in the new unit to be capitalized at Y450 million. The impact on its group earnings will be minor.

Kotobukiya, which failed in December, will temporarily close all of its stores in Kyushu, southern Japan, because of merchandise supply shortages. Of its 134 Kyushu stores, the company will completely close 44 outlets as planned under its rehabilitation scheme, and the remaining 90 stores will be shut temporarily from Feb. 1.

Drug maker Eisai Co. will lower the trading lot for its shares to 100 from the current 1,000 effective April 1. The move aims to improve share liquidity and broaden the range of investors.

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