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No. 363, December 1999

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American Companies in Japan


By April 2000 at the latest, TYCO INTERNATIONAL LTD. will consolidate the management side of the Japanese operations of leading connector manufacturer AMP INC. of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Menlo Park, California-based RAYCHEM CORP., a major maker of fuses. The conglomerate acquired both of these companies earlier in 1999. Along with the subsidiary of relay producer ORIGINAL ELECTROMECHANICAL CO., they will be part of the Tyco Electronics Group and will go under that name. Together, the three companies have annual sales in Japan of some $952.4 million. Among the activities that will be consolidated to improve efficiency are administration, information systems, finance, distribution and materials procurement. The new Tyco Electronics subsidiary will be located in Kawasaki, Kanagawa prefecture, where the local units of AMP and Raychem are based.

The latest addition to the line of high-density power components marketed by VICOR CORP.'s subsidiary is a second-generation series of DC/DC converter modules with a 300-volt input. Like the Andover, Massachusetts manufacturer's other converter families, these products are available in micro, mini and maxi packages. Those three sizes span 24 models and output voltages ranging from 2 volts to 48 volts. Pricing of the new converter modules runs from $140 to $295.

Extending their relationship, ENERGY CONVERSION DEVICES, INC. and subsidiary OVONIC BATTERY CO. awarded TOSHIBA BATTERY CO., LTD. a nonexclusive license to their cylindrically wound nickel metal hydride battery technology for use in hybrid electric vehicles. The deal, which requires various lump sum payments to Troy, Michigan- based OBC as well as royalties on sales of licensed products, gives Toshiba Battery the right to manufacture cylindrically wound NiMH batteries in Japan and to sell them worldwide subject to certain restrictions. While hybrid electric vehicles — which use batteries for electrically driven propulsion along with an internal combustion engine, a fuel cell or some other source of power — are expected to be the main application for the licensed technology, Toshiba Battery can employ it in such special-purpose, battery-driven vehicles as motorized wheelchairs and golf carts. Several Japanese companies have licensed Ovonic Battery's NiMH battery know-how and taken a minority position in the firm, including HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD., SANOH INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD. and SANYO ELECTRIC CO., LTD.

An exchange rate of ¥105=$1.00 was used in this report.aaaaaa

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