TOKYO 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)