Idemitsu Kosan Co. completed the purchase of a portion of fellow Japanese refiner Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. yesterday upon antitrust clearance. The 159 billion (approximately U.S. $1.4 billion) acquisition of shares grants Idemitsu 31.3 percent ownership of SSSKK, which is just shy of its original one-third target.
Idemitsu had entered into an agreement to purchase 33.3 percent of the Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary in July 2015 as part of a government-backed scheme in which the two companies would consolidate to reduce the countrys fuel glut. However, last summer, board member Shosuke Idemitsu, a descendant of the firms founder, officially opposed the companies tie-up. As a result, the companies boards had delayed the merger to April 1, 2017, then delayed it again indefinitely.