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Nippon Sheet Glass Co has announced that it will acquire a 33.3 percent stake in Nippon Muki Co (TSE:5205) from Hitachi Chemical Co (TSE:4211) by mid-December, making it the company’s largest shareholder. The company’s interest in strengthening its glass fiber operations proved a perfect fit for Hitachi Chemical’s efforts to reorganize group operations. The glass manufacturer will acquire 7.61 million shares for an estimated 3 billion yen (US$27.16 million). After the deal, Hitachi Chemical will become Nippon Muki’s second largest stockholder, with a 7.2 percent stake. Nippon Muki uses glass fiber to make battery parts and filters for air cleaners. The company posted consolidated sales of 19.6 billion yen for the year ended March 31. Nippon Sheet Glass regards the glass fiber business as a main focus for development. The company plans to slightly more than double group sales at its glass fiber operations to 55 billion yen in fiscal 2004 from 27 billion yen in fiscal 1999. The firm will try to acquire sufficient additional shares in Nippon Muki to turn it into a subsidiary within a year at the earliest.
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