Still attempting to reap the efficiency gains of a merger without actually taking this step, EXXON CORP.'s two affiliates will combine their sales, finance, management and distribution divisions by June or July (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 346, July 1998, p. 15). On the personnel front, ESSO SEKIYU K.K. and GENERAL SEKIYU K.K. plan to cut their work forces by 25 percent, or 650 people, through early retirement and attrition for a projected annual saving of $115 million. The two service station operators also will trim their branch offices to a total of 19 from 32. Whatever other changes occur, Esso Sekiyu and General Sekiyu will continue to operate their own chain of gas stations.
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