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No. 354, March 1999

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Japanese Companies in the US


FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS

In a wholesale pullback from the American market, big food processor NICHIREI CORP. is liquidating all six of its money-losing U.S. subsidiaries. These businesses include NICHIREI FOODS AMERICA, INC., a Fife, Washington manufacturer of frozen imitation crab products that has been in operation since 1988; SEA WATCH, INC. of Easton, Maryland, a seafood processor acquired the same year; Lincoln, Nebraska-based SUN-HUSKER FOODS, INC., a chicken and beef processor that Nichirei bought in 1984; and TENGU, INC., a Los Angeles manufacturer of beef jerky that the company has owned for more than 10 years. Nichirei's Seattle distribution unit/holding company also is closing, as is a Miami operation. The six units had sales of around $125 million in FY 1997. Their liquidation will force Nichirei to take a onetime charge of $83.3 million in FY 1998. From now on, the food processor's U.S. activities will be limited to buying meat, fish and seafood, frozen vegetables and similar products for export to Japan.

An exchange rate of ¥117=$1.00 was used in this report.aaaaaa

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