Sojitz Corporation


Announcing the creation of Nissho Iwai's new business department, "Bio Business Department"

Feb. 28, 2001

Nissho Iwai Corporation has decided to create, as of April 1, 2001, a new business department, "Bio Business Department," the business lines of which include making investments in, and fostering, bio-related venture businesses. The newly created department will also seek to be listed eventually on a stock exchange. It also pursues joint business operations with some of the companies with which Nissho Iwai has existing business relationships. To realize these goals earliest possible, a total of five billion yen as investment funds for business investment and for financing outside funds will be made available from the new business department upon its creation.

To be more specific, the Bio Business Department comprises the two lines of business: one is what can be called a "business operating line," which conducts venture business operation on its own, and the other is what can be termed a "business support line," which renders support to emerging businesses through the network of the whole Nissho Iwai Group. That is, the former will make investments in new ventures mostly through alliances with bio-related ventures and funds located mainly in Europe so as to ensure stable profitability in mid- and- long terms; the latter will (1) support and foster new venture projects spanning numerous firms and (2) work out the entire Nissho Iwai's corporate strategy for biochemical and ecologically sound businesses, (3) provide bio-business related expert intelligence and consulting services and (4) build up intelligence & expertise and business contacts.

The new department targets two major scopes of business activity: one is where our daily lives are involved, such as agricultural and food areas of the kind that produces functional foods and ecologically friendly areas of the kind that concerns biodegradable materials and products; the other is where promising futures are expected, such as medical & pharmaceutical areas of the kind that offers regenerative medicine and genetic examination & treatment, IT areas of the kind which concerns gene decoding, and chemicals & energy areas of the kind that involves making use of biomass (farm wastes) to generate electricity and to produce glucoses and other fermentation products in a fermentation complex.

With staff members in charge of bio-related business development at each of Nissho Iwai's nine division companies and at Nissho Iwai American Corporation, Nissho Iwai Europe plc. and ITX Corporation as well, a horizontally coordinated global network of cooperative work will be formed over time. Nissho Iwai will pursue ensuring increased corporate profitability in the form of new dividends and capital gains which it expects from its newly launched operation in the bio-business area.  

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