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KAISER ALUMINUM, FURUKAWA ALUMINUM, AND ITOCHU TO FORM TOKYO-BASED FORGED PRODUCTS COMPANY

 TOKYO, May 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corp., The Furukawa Aluminum Co. Ltd., and Itochu Corp. have signed a letter of intent to form Furukawa Kaiser Forged Products Co., a Tokyo-based enterprise that will serve the Japanese ground transportation industry and other selected Asian markets.
 The joint venture will develop, design and market cast and forged aluminum structural parts manufactured by Kaiser at its facilities in the United States and by Furukawa at its facilities in Japan. Furukawa and Kaiser each will hold 47.5 percent of Furukawa Kaiser Forged Products Co., and Itochu will hold 5 percent. Management personnel and services will be provided by all three partners.
 A. Stephens Hutchcraft Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Kaiser, and Kengo Tomomatsu, president of Furukawa, met today in Tokyo for the formal signing of the letter of intent.
 "This joint venture allows Kaiser to combine its production and technical expertise in forgings with Furukawa's technical, marketing and customer relationships," said Hutchcraft. "Our goal is to provide aluminum parts to ground transportation customers in Japan and to their affiliates elsewhere. We expect demand for aluminum to grow significantly during the 1990s due to its increasing use in cars, light trucks and other transportation applications. Lightweight aluminum offers carmakers the opportunity to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles while enhancing safety."
 "In the past several years," said Tomomatsu, "Furukawa and Kaiser have had technical exchange programs and have studied ways to work together. We have decided to form a new joint venture company -- which will offer high-quality aluminum forged products manufactured by Kaiser to ground transportation customers in Japan and other Asian countries -- as the first step of this partnership. There is a growing possibility that our companies can form joint ventures in other product areas in the future. We, Furukawa and Kaiser, want to provide our customers with products that can be enthusiastically accepted."
 In February, Kaiser and Furukawa announced that they would study the feasibility of working together to research, develop, produce and market extrusions, castings and forgings for ground transportation and other markets. The activities covered in this agreement are in addition to the joint research and product development work on automotive body sheet that Kaiser and Furukawa are conducting with Kawasaki Steel Corp., announced in September 1992.
 One of the world's leading aluminum companies, Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corp. is the operating subsidiary of Kaiser Aluminum Corp. (NYSE: KLU), which is majority-owned by MAXXAM Inc. (AMEX: MXM). The Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd., the parent company of Furukawa Aluminum Co. Ltd., is one of Japan's largest integrated manufacturers of copper, aluminum and other nonferrous metal products. Itochu Corp. is a worldwide trading company based in Tokyo.
 -0- 5/24/93
 /CONTACT: Elizabeth M. Simon of Kaiser Aluminum, 510-847-5880/
 (KLU MXM)


CO: Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corp.; Kaiser Aluminum Corp; MAXXAM
 Inc.; Furukawa Kaiser Forged Products Co.; Furukawa Aluminum
 Co. Ltd.; Itochu Corp. ST: California, Texas IN: MNG SU: JVN


TM -- SF005 -- 1739 05/24/93 13:27 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 24, 1993
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