DEALS: Rolling Away From Tradition

Rolling Away From Tradition

Buoyed by the strong yen, the Japanese last year poured nearly $6 billion into acquisitions of U.S. companies. But few of those investments were larger -- or more stunning -- than the venture announced last week by two renowned names in the world tire industry: Tokyo's Bridgestone and Chicago's Firestone. As part of a $1.25 billion deal, Bridgestone will take over Firestone's tire business, though the U.S. firm will retain a 25% interest in those operations.

The 87-year-old Firestone will emerge from the agreement as a smaller company, operating retail tire stores and manufacturing building materials. Most of the $1.25 billion...

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