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News Release

2007/03/06

Notice regarding the conversion of Prime Cast Co., Ltd. into a wholly owned World subsidiary under a new corporate name, and the establishment of a new subsidiary in Shanghai, China

On February 21, 2007, World Co., Ltd. turned Prime Cast Co., Ltd., its consolidated subsidiary, into a wholly owned subsidiary. We subsequently decided to change its corporate name to World Production Partners Co., Ltd. (WP2) effective April 1, 2007.
We also announce that we are planning to establish, WP2 (Shanghai) Trading Co., Ltd., a new 100% owned subsidiary in Shanghai, China, as a manufacturing base company in China, on April 1 (projected).

1. Objectives:

1) Objective for conversion into wholly owned subsidiary

Prime Cast Co., Ltd., an apparel production management company with trading firm functions, had become a subsidiary of World Co., Ltd. in April 2005. With this relationship, World promoted the coordination of the formerly separate production operations from the perspective of total optimization that originates with the sales outlet, to realize a more transparent production system. Through this effort, we have been striving to minimize the various losses that can occur between processes and to establish a highly competitive production platform (a framework for replication).
Our goal for turning Prime Cast into wholly owned subsidiary at this time is to accelerate the progress of efforts implemented to date. Specifically, we will unify procurement and other production-related operations—including the purchase of materials and resources as well as manufacturing and trading—into WP2 (the new company name) from the formerly separate operations of each division or brand to further reduce losses and inefficiencies for the sake of optimal overall production.
Looking ahead, we will continue to pursue the establishment of the SPARCS* model—our customer-centric system that converts losses and inefficiencies into new value by integrating entire operations from retail to production—along the axis defined by these two companies, with World Store Partners Co., Ltd. responsible for sales-related operations and WP2, overseeing production-related operations.

  • * World's proprietary business model, combining Super, Production, Apparel, Retail, and Customer Satisfaction.
2) Reason for the corporate name change

In 2000, we announced the WP² (World Production Partners) concept, an overall term for a group of corporate partners that, together with World, comprise an integrated network to establish a system for synchronizing our storefront operations with every product-related aspect—from materials development, and production, to store-level logistics—with the goals of minimizing inventory losses as well as lost sales opportunities.
As a result of its conversion into a wholly owned subsidiary, Prime Cast is expected to play the role of providing fresh momentum to our efforts as a core company of the WP² concept. To more clearly express this approach, we decided to change its name into one that is more closely aligned with this vision.

3) Reason for the establishment of WP2 (Shanghai) Trading Co., Ltd.

Approximately 90% of our overseas production is carried out in China, and we expect China to continue to be an important production base in the future. Therefore, with WP2 in Japan as the core, the goal of the Chinese subsidiary will be to establish a production foundation that emphasizes total optimization, similar to the objective for converting WP2 (currently Prime Cast) into a wholly owned subsidiary as stated above.

2. Overview of subsidiaries

1) Overview of Prime Cast Co., Ltd. (as of February 20, 2007)
1. Name
Prime Cast Co., Ltd.
2. Main business
Apparel / fashion accessories, production control and trading
3. Established
October 29, 1999
4. Headquarters
Marix Building 3F, 4-4-6, Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
5. Representative
President, Shinichi Hagiwara
6. Capitalization
¥20 million (55% contributed by World Co., Ltd.)
7. Fiscal year end
March 31
8. Employees
51 (as of February 20)
2) Overview of World Production Partners Co., Ltd. (WP2)
1. Name
World Production Partners Co., Ltd.
2. Main business
Apparel / fashion accessories production control and trading
3. Established
October 29, 1999
4. Start of operations
April 1, 2007
5. Headquarters
Marix Building 3F, 4-4-6, Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
6. Representative
President, Shinichi Hagiwara
7. Capitalization
¥20 million (100% contributed by World Co., Ltd.)
8. Fiscal year end
March 31
9. Employees
53 (April 1, projected)
3) Overview of WP2 (Shanghai) Trading Co., Ltd.
1. Name
WP2 (Shanghai) Trading Co., Ltd.
2. Main business
Apparel / fashion accessories production control and trading
3. Established
April 1, 2007 (projected)
4. Start of operations
April 1, 2007 (projected)
5. Headquarters
5F, B-32, 2299 Yan'an Road (West) ,Shanghai, China
6. Representative
Fumihiro Kuriyama
7. Capitalization
US$3 million (approximately ¥360 million, 100% contributed by World Co., Ltd.)
8. Fiscal year end
December 31
9. Employees
15 (April 1, projected)

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