Japan’s Idemitsu faces merger hurdles

Japanese oil company Idemitsu Kosa has been forced to postpone the acquisition of a stake in a rival. It needs to clear a series of obstacles before the deal can go through.

Japan’s oil refining sector looks ripe for consolidation. But anti-trust fears and a backlash from one party's founding family are delaying a landmark merger in the sector.

Japanese oil company Idemitsu Kosan postponed its off-market offer for a 33.3% stake in Showa Shell Sekiu on Wednesday. It was planning to buy the entire stake, held by Royal Dutch Shell, this month but has now said the deal will not go ahead until October or November.

That may not appear a long delay, but is just the latest push back for a deal that has been rumored since 2014.

The delay is mainly down to...

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