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Brandes Proposes 130 yen per Share Dividend and 10 Million Share Buyback Program for Ono Pharmaceutical Annual Meeting
Date:4/15/2008

SAN DIEGO, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Brandes Investment Partners, L.P. ("Brandes") announces that, on April 8th, 2008, it submitted to Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (the "Company"), a pharmaceutical manufacturer based in Japan and listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, a resolution (the "Resolution") to be submitted for shareholder approval at the Company's upcoming annual meeting of shareholders. On behalf of its investment advisory clients, Brandes currently holds in excess of 7.0% of the Company's shares. This represents an ownership position built since 1997.

The Resolution calls for the Company's Board of Directors to authorize: 1) a one-time dividend of 130 yen per share of common stock (including the interim dividend of 90 yen per share, the annual dividend, if approved, shall be 220 yen per share), payable by September 30, 2008, and 2) a share buyback program of up to 10 million shares for a maximum of 60 billion yen. Brandes believes that the Company should cancel all shares upon repurchase. A copy of Brandes' letter to the Company and the Resolution are available at the Brandes website at http://www.brandes.com/Inv/PressReviews.htm.

Brandes believes that the Company continues to retain unnecessarily large amounts of low-yielding cash and marketable securities on its balance sheet, a majority of which appears to be unrelated to the Company's operations as a pharmaceutical company. The Company's recent actions of increasing dividends and repurchasing shares are encouraging, and the 5.5 million buyback program (for up to 30 billion yen) announced on April 14th following our submission of the Resolution to the Company, is a significant step in the right direction. However, Brandes believes more can and should be done in order to improve the capital efficiency of the Company. After execution of the proposed dividend and share buyback program, the Company's level of financial
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SOURCE Brandes Investment Partners, L.P.
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