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Sumitomo acquires 1.8% stake in Stamford

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Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. has acquired a 1.8% stake in Singapore-based Stamford Tyres Corp. to kick off what Stamford officials are calling "a long-term business relationship between the two companies."

Net proceeds from the placement will be used to finance Stamford's working capital needs in South Africa.

"Over the years, Sumitomo has been encouraged by our growth and initiatives to promote its Falken brand tires in Asia," says Stamford CEO Wee Kok Wah. "Now as we embark on our expansion plans in South Africa, Stamford is delighted to have this support from Sumitomo and would like to welcome them as one of our valued shareholders.

"The South African market is a relatively new (market) for Stamford, but one that we have made good progress in."

Yasutaka Ii, executive officer with Sumitomo, says his company views Stamford as a key partner. Stamford has distributed Sumitomo's Falken brand since 1975. Sales of Falken tires comprise nearly 40% of the company's total revenue.

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