FamilyMart Co and Uny Group Holdings Co are in merger talks that might create Japan’s second-largest convenience store chain by sales, as operators seek cost savings.
Uny is considering options including mergers with other companies, and no decision has been made, the company said in a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange. FamilyMart also confirmed in a statement that it is in talks with Uny, which has a market value of about ￥169 billion (US$1.41 billion).
FamilyMart is competing against Seven & I Holdings Co’s 7-Eleven chain — Japan’s largest convenience store network, and No. 2 Lawson Inc in a race to keep prices down by raising volume. Japan’s convenience stores are luring customers from supermarkets and fast-food restaurants by selling hot meals and competitively priced staples and offering services such as parcel delivery pickup and bill payments.
“The merger would give both FamilyMart and Uny greater economies of scale,” JPMorgan Securities Japan Co analyst Dairo Murata said by telephone.
The deal might also increase expectations for further convenience store market consolidation, he said.
FamilyMart chief executive officer Junji Ueda yesterday said he does not plan to spend too much time before reaching an agreement with Uny, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported.
Uny shares surged 11 percent, the biggest intraday gain since 2008, to ￥742, before trading at ￥724 at 11:30am yesterday in Tokyo. FamilyMart shares fell 2.9 percent.
Itochu Corp owns 36 percent of FamilyMart and about 3 percent of Uny, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Uny’s Circle K and Sunkus chains had 6,328 stores in Japan as of January, compared with FamilyMart’s 11,271 and Seven & I’s 17,491, according to the companies’ Web sites. Lawson has about 12,000 stores in the nation, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
Continental AG, which makes control units for Daimler AG cars, cannot pursue antitrust claims against a group of patent owners, including Qualcomm Inc, which are seeking royalties on telecommunications technology, a federal judge in Texas ruled. Avanci LLC, a licensing pool formed by Qualcomm, Nokia Oyj, Sharp Corp and other owners of patents on technology standards, is not breaching antitrust laws when it negotiates license agreements with automakers rather than the component makers, Barbara Lynn, chief district judge for the Northern District of Texas, said in dismissing the suit in a decision posted on Friday. The licensing group charges US$15 per vehicle
Sony Corp has cut its estimated Play Station 5 (PS5) production for this fiscal year by 4 million units, down to about 11 million, following production issues with its custom-designed system-on-chip (SOC) for the new console, people familiar with the matter said. The Tokyo-based electronics giant in July boosted orders with suppliers in anticipation of heightened demand for gaming in the holiday season and beyond, as people spend more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company has come up against manufacturing issues, such as production yields as low as 50 percent for its SOC, which have cut into
O2O BICYCLE SHOW: The Taiwan Bicycle Show next year is to be online to offline, with forums, audio-visual conferences and livestreaming of the offline events Local bicycle makers expect demand to continue outpacing supply due to orders triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, with some companies seeing orders back up through next year. “Next year is all full in terms of orders. Our lead time on components is one year,” Giant Manufacturing Co Ltd (巨大機械) chairwoman Bonnie Tu (杜綉珍) told a news conference in Taipei organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to announce next year’s Taipei Cycle Show. The pandemic has reduced bicycle supplies and increased demand around the world, Robert Wu (吳盈進), chairman of KMC (Kuei Meng) International Inc (桂盟國際), one of the world’s