Japanese department store Mitsukoshi sells stake in Tiffany

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TOKYO--Financially strapped Japanese department store Mitsukoshi says it will sell its 12% stake in premium brand jeweler Tiffany & Co. for an estimated $247 million by the end of next month. Mitsukoshi has been swimming in red ink recently due to flagging sales and huge losses racked up in unprofitable golf course development projects. Tiffany and Mitsukoshi started their business relationship in 1972; in 1989 Mitsukoshi upped its holding in the firm to 12%, making it the largest holder of Tiffany shares. Two years ago Tiffany moved out of the store it ran in Mitsukoshi's department store in the Ginza section of Tokyo. Tiffany, boosted by strong sales in the face of Japan's recession, was able to set up an independent shop next door to Mitsukoshi.

Copyright January 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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