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Kobe Steel signs global technology agreement with Swedish Sapa

March 6, 2012

TOKYO, March 6, 2012 - Kobe Steel, Ltd. has signed a technical transfer agreement with Swedish Sapa AB under which Kobe Steel will provide Sapa with production technology for high-quality aluminium extrusions to be used in Sapa's 50 extrusion plants in Europe, North America and Asia.

Both companies excel in aluminium extrusions and this combination of Kobe Steel technology with Sapa's global foot-print and technology, will provide even greater value to customers in automotive, office equipment, mass transportation and other product areas. The agreement covers the full range of processes ranging from melting and casting to extrusion, including Kobe's proprietary aluminium alloys that have received high evaluation in the market. Sapa will be able to use Kobe Steel's technology at its more than 50 profiles plants around the world, including North America, Europe and Asia.

Kobe Steel currently produces aluminium extrusions at its Chofu Works in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, in western Japan. Major products include bumper material for automobiles, aluminium tubes for OPC (organic photo conductor), drums used in printers and other value-added products. As user industries have increasingly been moving their operations overseas in recent years, building a network that can supply them with the same quality products as in Japan has become a pressing issue.

By furnishing Sapa with its production technology for aluminium extrusions developed in Japan, Kobe Steel will be able to help meet the global procurement needs of its users. For Sapa, the transfer of production technology from Kobe Steel, covering melting, casting and extrusion, will enable it to make more sophisticated high-end products.

The deal makes it possible for Sapa to market high-end aluminium extrusions made from Kobe Steel's technology through the entire Sapa plant network. This will enable Kobe Steel's current users to procure products of the same quality overseas as in Japan. For fabricated products, such as bumpers, Kobe Steel will be able to obtain semi-finished materials from Sapa's overseas locations, process and sell them to overseas users.

Through the technology transfer agreement, Kobe Steel will be able to accelerate the global development of its aluminium extrusion business and flexibly meet the varied needs of its customers for global procurement.

Profile of Sapa AB

Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden
Established: 1963
President & CEO: Svein Tore Holsether
Turnover & Capital: 36 bill SEK / 933 mill SEK
Ownership: Wholly owned by Orkla ASA (Norwegian group involved in Consumer Goods, Aluminium, Specialty Chemicals and Investments)
Employees: 14,400
Business: Manufacturing and sales of aluminium extrusions, aluminium profiles based building systems, heat exchanger solutions in aluminium
Locations: 50 Aluminium Profiles (extrusion) units, including Europe, North America, China, India and Vietnam. (65 units including Heat Transfer and Building Systems)