July 11, 2016 / 9:30 AM / 3 years ago

Idemitsu Kosan's merger talks with founding family end without agreement

A signboard of Idemitsu Kosan Co is seen at its gas station in Tokyo, Japan, November 4, 2015. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Talks between Japan’s Idemitsu Kosan Co Ltd (5019.T) and its founding family on Monday did not yield any agreement regarding the family’s opposition to the oil refiner’s proposal to buy rival Showa Shell Sekiyu KK 5002.T, the family’s lawyer said.

The country’s second-biggest refiner has argued the acquisition is its best course of action in a shrinking domestic oil market, where five large and three small refiners compete.

But descendants of founder Sazo Idemitsu, including octogenarian son Shosuke Idemitsu - a former president and now honorary chairman - have said the companies are too different for a merger to work.

They have also said they saw no chance of compromise, the lawyer, Takujiro Hamada, previously told Reuters.

On Monday, Idemitsu Kosan President Takashi Tsukioka and colleagues met family members including Shosuke Idemitsu and his two sons to discuss the proposal, which may dilute the family’s minority stake, Hamada told reporters after the talks.

He also said the parties agreed to meet again but had not set a date.

Idemitsu Kosan is scheduled to hold a press conference on the matter from 6:30 p.m. local time (0930 GMT).

The proposal includes Idemitsu Kosan’s purchase of 33.3 percent of Showa Shell Sekiyu from Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSa.L).

The family’s 33.92 percent stake in Idemitsu Kosan is large enough to veto the proposal when presented for consideration at a special shareholders’ meeting likely later this year.

Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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