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Sumitomo to absorb Ohtsu and Dunlop Japan units

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Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. will absorb its Ohtsu Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. and Dunlop Japan subsidiaries this coming summer.

Sumitomo Rubber currently owns 51% of Ohtsu and will acquire the rest by trading nearly $70 million in equities, according to wire reports.

It owns 100% of Dunlop Japan.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., which holds 10% stake in Sumitomo Rubber, has approved the plan, says a spokesman for the Akron, Ohio-based tiremaker.

Treadways Corp. has exclusive rights to the Sumitomo brand in the United States, while Ohtsu manufactures tires for Falken Tire Corp.

The Sumitomo brand enjoys 2.5% of the domestic replacement medium truck tire market, according to Modern Tire Dealer statistics.

Sumitomo Rubber expects its group net profit to reach 8 billion yen for the full year 2002.

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