Idemitsu, Showa Shell chiefs met to confirm merger plan

The heads of Japanese oil refiners Idemitsu Kosan Co. and Showa Shell Sekiyu met Thursday to re-confirm the companies' intention to merge despite opposition from Idemitsu's founding family, an Idemitsu spokesman said.

The Nikkei business daily reported Friday that Idemitsu was considering acquiring a smaller stake in Showa Shell than planned to counter efforts by its founding family to block a merger of the two oil refiners.

The Idemitsu spokesman said it was not true that a decision had been made on any specific plan, and that a variety of options were under consideration for the planned merger.

Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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