Japan-US Business Report LogoJapan-U.S. Business Report

No. 346, July 1998

Issue Index

American Companies in Japan


VICOR CORP., a maker of high-density power components, including AC/DC and DC/DC converters and complete power systems, has gained a presence in Japan. The Andover, Massachusetts company bought the major assets of JAPAN TOBACCO INC.'s money-losing switching power supply businesses for an undisclosed amount. JTI became Vicor's sole manufacturing and marketing licensee in Japan in 1995. The purchase covers the manufacturing equipment and inventories of JT POWERCRAFT CORP. and the business goodwill, including customer lists, of JT ELECTRONICS CORP., a marketing company. Vicor will transfer the production equipment, which it supplied, to its Andover factory. Many of the key people at JT Electronics are moving over to newly formed VICOR JAPAN CO., LTD., which now will market Vicor's products. Japan Tobacco will liquidate both of its subsidiaries.

In another buyout, ORBOTECH, INC. is acquiring the domestic printed circuit board sales and marketing operations of TOYO INK MANUFACTURING CO., LTD. as well as the Solio computer-aided manufacturing product line developed by Toyo Ink's Israeli subsidiary. The price was not disclosed. The Billerica, Massachusetts company makes and markets automated optical inspection systems for use in the production of PCBs. It also manufactures CAM systems and laser plotters for PCB production.

Two new power-protection products are on the market from AMERICAN POWER CONVERSION's subsidiary. The $129 PowerManager provides centralized power management and surge protection for up to five peripherals, including PCs, CD-ROM drives, monitors, printers, fax machines and modems. The West Kingston, Rhode Island firm's ISDN (integrated services digital network) ProtectNet is designed to protect against surges on modem and other data lines. The PISDN is priced at $34.

An exchange rate of ¥140=$1.00 was used in this report.

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