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April 17, 2003
    
Integration of Steel Pail Business Activities
 

Metal One Corporation (Masashi Mizutani, president), JFE Container Co., Ltd. (Toru Kondo, president) and Nippon Steel Corporation (Akio Mimura, president) have confirmed plans to integrate their steel pail business activities. Work has begun on the specific details and preparations of the integration project. The goal is to strengthen the competitiveness and profitability of the participants' steel pail businesses by consolidating production facilities, streamlining indirect management functions, and reducing material and distribution costs. In addition, by sharing technical and research challenges and concentrating capital investments, product development capabilities and adaptability should achieve a higher quality.

The integrated new company (hereinafter referred to as the "New Company') will succeed all business activities of Unicon Co., Ltd. (Hayao Teranaka, president; a substantially fully-owned subsidiary of Metal One Corporation), the steel pail business division of JFE Container Co., Ltd. (listed on the Second Section of the Osaka Securities Exchange), and all business activities of Daido Corporation (Ryuji Hata, president; a fully-owned subsidiary of Nittetsu Steel Sheet Corporation).

Before integration, Nippon Steel Corporation will acquire all of Nittetsu Steel Sheet Corporation's equity holdings in Daido Corporation, and have a direct capital stake in the New Company.

Planned Establishment of the New Company
    January 2004
         
Key Aspects of the New Company
  1. Sharing ratio among the investors:   In principle, Metal One, 40%; JFE Container, 30%; Nippon Steel, 30%. The representative director is now under consideration, probably to be named by Metal One.
  2. Production facilities:   Five steel pail production lines (one in Chiba, two in Takaishi and two in Amagasaki); one smaller drum production line and others (including a steel sheet printing line).
  3. Production capacity:   About one million pails/month (200,000 in Chiba, 400,000 in Takaishi and 400,000 in Amagasaki).
  4. Expected sales:   About ¥6 billion/year
  5. Equity capital:   Under investigation
  6. Trade name:   Under investigation
  7. Location of head office:   Under investigation
         
Production Arrangements
    The New Company will close down the Itami Works in JFE ContainersEsteel pail business division (in Chiba and Itami) within one year after integration, and concentrate production of steel pails in JFE Container's Chiba Works, Daido Corporation's Amagasaki Works, and Unicon's Takaishi Works with a view toward greater efficiency in production.

Research will continue on optimal production arrangements and consolidation of production bases with an eye towards further strengthening the New Company's competitiveness.

     
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