Imabari Shipbuilding, Japan’s largest shipbuilder, has reached an initial agreement to take over domestic shipyard Minaminippon Shipbuilding.
Under the agreement, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding and Mitsui OSK Lines, two major shareholders of Minaminippon Shipbuilding, have agreed to transfer their shareholdings in the shipyard to Imabari Shipbuilding as of April 1, 2018.
Imabari Shipbuilding believes the acquisition will boost production capacity and international competitiveness.
The parties will hold further discussions to conclude the final agreement.
In recent years, Japanese shipbuilders, faced with increasing competition from neighbouring countries China and South Korea, have been through mergers and plenty of restructuring.
Minaminippon (which translates as Southern Japan) Shipbuilding runs three facilities at Ozai, Shitanoe and Oita, and it mainly builds tankers and car carriers. Currently the shipyard has four 6,800 ceu car carriers and two 50,000 dwt tankers under construction.
Imabari Shipbuilding, which runs nine shipyards in the Seto Inland Sea region, currently has an order book of more than 120 vessels in total.