Japan's Glass Merger and Other Business News

Japan's Nippon Sheet Glass Company will purchase Britain's Pilkington Glass Company in a move that will make it the world's largest flat-glass company.

Nippon Sheet Glass plans to buy the 80 percent of Pilkington that it doesn't already own for $3.8 billion. The deal will give the Japanese company manufacturing operations in 24 countries and sales in more than 130. Currently, Nippon Sheet relies on Japan for 85 percent of its income.

Yozo Izuhara, chairman and CEO of Nippon Sheet, talked about the purchase of Pilkington at a recent press conference. "The purpose and strategy of our merger and acquisition of Pilkington is to be recognized and also advance our position in the global market," he said.

Pilkington, which produces glass for buildings and windshields for cars and airplanes, is currently the second-largest company in the flat-glass market. The company, based in St. Helens in England, has been part of Britain's business scene for the past 186 years.

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