October 13, 2016 / 8:31 AM / a year ago

Idemitsu, Showa Shell delay merger amid opposition

A signboard of Idemitsu Kosan Co is seen behind a traffic light at its gas station in Tokyo, Japan, August 15, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese refiners Idemitsu Kosan Co Ltd and Showa Shell Sekiyu said on Thursday they were delaying their planned merger indefinitely, citing a lack of progress in talks with some stakeholders over the deal.

They had been planning to merge on April 1 next year but were facing fierce opposition from the Idemitsu founding family.

Idemitsu also said, however, there was no change now in its plan to acquire a 33.3 percent stake in Showa Shell for about 170 billion yen ($1.7 billion) from Royal Dutch Shell this month or in November.

The firms said in a statement they would continue talks towards a merger.

Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori and Chris Gallagher; Editing by Tom Hogue

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