Valeo (Paris: FR; OTC: VLEEY) and Ichikoh Industries today announced that on July 26, 2000, the final agreement confirming their Memorandum of Understanding was signed. As previously stated in April 2000, this agreement sets up a global business alliance in lighting systems and equipment.

The agreement covers all industrial and commercial collaboration, as well as the design and development of new systems, products and technologies. It allows the two partners to offer innovative solutions to their customers throughout the world.

Following Valeo's acquisition of the 20% share held by Nissan in Ichikoh, Ichikoh will have an option to take a stake of up to 20% in Valeo's lighting activities.

The combined presence of Valeo and Ichikoh represents 23 lighting plants worldwide, including 11 in Europe, 4 in North and South America, and 8 in Asia, together with 3 R&D centers. The combined number of employees will total 9,500. Current combined sales in lighting amount to 2 billion euros, with strong growth potential. Valeo, world leader in lighting systems, is strengthening its position in Southeast Asia. The agreement will enable Valeo to serve Japanese car manufacturers together with Ichikoh, whose main customers are Nissan and Toyota.

Valeo is an independent industrial Group fully focused on the design, production and sale of components, integrated systems and modules for cars and trucks, and ranks among the world's top automotive suppliers. The Group achieved sales in 1999 of 7.7 billion euros. It has 118 plants, 39 R&D centers, 10 distribution centers and employs 55,000 people in 20 countries worldwide.

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