• Kyodo News

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Fuji Technica Inc., Japan’s No. 2 manufacturer of metal molds for cars, is considering acquiring its third-ranked rival with support from the Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corp. of Japan, company sources said Friday.

The Shizuoka-based company aims to strengthen its management base through a merger with Miyazu Seisakusho Co. as the industry suffers from the strong yen and fierce competition from emerging countries, the sources said.

Japanese makers have long boasted high-quality and accurate molding techniques, crucial in manufacturing vehicle bodies and electronic devices, but competitors from other countries, including China, are quickly catching up.

An outflow of the technologies to overseas rivals also nags the industry as top mold manufacturer Ogihara Corp. became an affiliate of a Thai company last year and some of its domestic factories were taken over by a Chinese company.

Established in 1957, Fuji Technica is listed on the Osaka Securities Exchange’s Jasdaq market for emerging companies. It has about 450 employees and sells products mainly to Suzuki Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and a Chinese carmaker.

Its group sales declined 18.5 percent to ¥15.8 billion in the fiscal year ended in March, but its net profit of ¥299 million was a turnaround from a net loss of ¥3.9 billion the previous year.

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