Acquisition of shares of MARUKO Co., Ltd., a Leading Ladies' High-Class Body-Shaping Underwear Retailer
(Listed on Second Section of Osaka Securities Exchange)

April 20, 2009

ITOCHU Corporation (“ITOCHU”) has concluded an agreement on the acquisition of the shares of MARUKO Co., Ltd. (“MARUKO”), the leading ladies' high-class body-shaping underwear retailer. As a result, ITOCHU will become the largest shareholder with a 25.13% equity stake in the outstanding shares of MARUKO (while holding a 26.45% stake in voting shares). Consequently, MARUKO will become an equity method affiliate of ITOCHU.

ITOCHU and MARUKO have developed a relationship of mutual trust through a trading relationship in the development and manufacture of products for more than 20 years. By strengthening the relationship between the two companies through the stock acquisition, ITOCHU anticipates developing a medium- to long-term partnership, and evolving and accelerating strategic initiatives in its core business. ITOCHU expects that this initiative will contribute significantly to bolstering ITOCHU's presence in the ladies' underwear sector.

In business for more than 30 years, MARUKO maintains a leading share in the retail market. It provides high quality product development technologies and body making consulting skills, based on its unique body shaping theory, at more than 250 nationwide retail stores by adopting the try-on sales method.

With an annual turnover of approximately 20 billion yen in the ladies' underwear segment, ITOCHU has been initiating collaboration with leading companies in each sales channel, including apparel, production and retail specialty stores, and mail order. In particular, ITOCHU holds a leading share among trading companies in the ladies' high-class, body-shaping underwear sector with a share of more than 30% in terms of turnover.

Strengthening operational alliance

  1. Provision of new products by using the store network of MARUKO We will strive to expand our business by using MARUKO's network of more than 250 nationwide stores and its customer base, and examining sales of textile products, including high-class brands handled by ITOCHU.
  2. Developing a new market in China By introducing the expertise that MARUKO has in body-shaping underwear, we will develop a new market in China, in which the ladies' underwear market (with a market size of 1.2 trillion yen at present) has been growing by more than 20% annually.

Strengthening capital alliance

ITOCHU will acquire a 25.13% equity stake in MARUKO (with a 26.45% stake in the voting shares) in May 2009.

By jointly developing a group management structure with MARUKO, and introducing management control, brand-related know-how, and the global network of ITOCHU to MARUKO, we will strive to differentiate MARUKO from its competitors by developing global operations, including those in China, and we will contribute to a further improvement in its corporate value.

Profile of MARUKO Co., Ltd.

Name MARUKO Co., Ltd.
Head office 2-2-9 Kawara-cho, Chuo-ku, Osaka
Paid-in capital 2,330 million yen
Representative Jun Komada, President
Incorporated April, 1978
Number of employees Approximately 2,860
Net sales 21.8 billion yen (for the fiscal year ended August 2008)
Businesses Manufacture and sale of body-shaping underwear for ladies,and sales of cosmetics and health foods