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Yokohama, Kumho sign alliance pact

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TOKYO (Feb. 14, 2014) —Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. has signed a master technological alliance agreement with South Korea's Kumho Tire Co. Inc. that defines the framework and purpose of the firms' proposed technology alliance.

The agreement paves the way for further discussion of the details of the proposed technology tie-up between the two companies. The master agreement is the result of discussions between the two companies following the signing of a memorandum of understanding on Nov. 29.

The two companies said the alliance will help them increase their competitiveness in the global tire market by sharing R&D resources and making more effective use of them through joint research and development on tire-related technologies, including environmental technology.

Under the agreement, Japan's Yokohama and South Korea's Kumho will conduct detailed discussions on various other contracts, including a cooperative R&D agreement and a licensing and technology exchange agreement, that set forth the details of their technology alliance.

The companies also will proceed with discussions on a proposed capital alliance based on cross-shareholdings.

Yokohama is considered the world's No. 8 tire maker, with 2012 tire sales of $5.57 billion, and Kumho the No. 12 maker, with sales of $3.6 billion.

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