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C. Itoh Computer, Electronics Units Merged in Irvine

February 19, 1988|JOHN CHARLES TIGHE | Times Staff Writer

C. Itoh, a giant Tokyo-based trading company, said it has merged its three U.S. computer and electronics subsidiaries into a central headquarters in Irvine to become better known to American buyers.

The new subsidiary, which adds 50 employees to the existing work force of 75, is called C. Itoh Electronics. It brings together two electronics and digital products subsidiaries that had been based in Torrance and a computer subsidiary that was already in Irvine.

"We've been in the U. S. for 13 years, but we've been scattered. This is a unity move," said Mark Liebesman, vice president of marketing for C. Itoh Electronics. "This will give the customer one-stop shopping."

Through joint ventures with Japanese manufacturers, C. Itoh Electronics supplies personal computer terminals and laser and high-speed printers for use with larger IBM and Digital Equipment computer systems.

C. Itoh Electronics products now sold in the United States are made in Japan and other Pacific Rim countries, but Liebesman said the company is studying the benefits of manufacturing in the United States.

Domestic manufacturing has become increasingly popular for Japanese firms because of the relatively high value of the yen contrasted with the dollar, and because of U.S. government pressure on foreign firms to help shift the trade imbalance.

The parent, C. Itoh, which has more than a dozen U.S. subsidiaries, had more than $100 billion in sales last year, according to Liebesman.

C. Itoh Electronics is expected to have about $100 million in revenues this year.

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