When Idemitsu Kosan Co. merged with Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. in April last year, it took control of Shell’s fuel business and its subsidiary, Shell Lubricants Japan, setting the stage for the beginning of a new era in Japan’s lubricant industry – one without Royal Dutch Shell.
However, less than one year after the merger, in March this year, Idemitsu Kosan announced that they were going to negotiate for the sale of Shell Lubricants Japan K.K. back to Royal Dutch Shell. An Idemitsu spokesperson told Lube Report, “We find it difficult to continuously manage the lubricant business for different brands which are competing, to find synergy….”