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Report: JX Holdings in merger talks with TonenGeneral Sekiyu

JX Holdings Inc., parent of JX Nippon Oil & Energy, Japan’s largest oil refiner and marketer, is reported to be in merger talks with third-ranked TonenGeneral Sekiyu K.K. JX Holdings has been making overtures to TonenGeneral behind the scenes, The Nikkei reported. “The duo will launch full-fledged negotiations soon, eyeing an outline agreement as early as this year,” the report said.

However, TonenGeneral issued the following statement on its website: “In order to increase the corporate value and strengthen the competitiveness of TonenGeneral Sekiyu K.K., it is considering various options including seeking alliance with partners not only to reinforce our core petroleum and petrochemical businesses but also to develop other growth options. However we have nothing to announce at this moment nor have we made any material decision.”

Meanwhile, second-ranked Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd. and fifth-ranked Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K., announced on Nov. 12 that they have executed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the integration of their businesses, which would occur between Oct. 2016 and April 2017. The merger was announced on July 30, 2015.