Forging a Big Steel Deal

Nippon Kokan forms a partnership with National Intergroup

In the fierce competition between American and Japanese companies, some longtime rivals are suddenly becoming partners. General Motors received final Government approval last month for a joint venture with Toyota to produce small cars in California. Last week the Japanese gained a major stake in another huge U.S. industry: steel. Pittsburgh's National Intergroup agreed to sell a 50% interest in its National Steel subsidiary to Nippon Kokan, Japan's second-largest steelmaker, for $292 million.

National Intergroup, a diversified company that owns a savings-and-loan network besides being...

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