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Two retailers join forces with trading company

Date Posted: 2007-07-20

Retail giants Aeon Group and Maruetsu, Inc, are entering a business relationship with Marubeni Corporation, one of Japan's largest trading companies.

Aeon and Maruetsu say they'll develop a unified distribution and combined purchasing system to cut costs, sharing their retail expertise. They also announced plans to work with Marubeni to develop private house brands.

The complex deal comes in the wake of Aeon Groupís acquisition of Maruetsu stock last Spring. Maruetsu, one of the nationís largest supermarket chains, had been partially owned by Daiei Inc., a company fighting to stay in business. Daiei sold its 20% holding in Maruetsu to Aeon.

Daieiís largest shareholder is Marrubeni, which has been given 15% voting rights in the company.

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