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Business deals

Japan's biggest shipbuilders team up to rival megamergers

Alliance by Imabari and JMU will oversee 10% of global business

Japanese shipbuilders Imabari and JMU have agreed to a capital and business tie-up that they hope will help them better compete with rivals in South Korea and China. (Photo by Takeru Goto)

TOKYO -- The top two Japanese shipbuilders, Imabari Shipbuilding and Japan Marine United, are forming an alliance to navigate a global industry in flux amid blockbuster mergers in South Korea and China.

The two unlisted companies will enter into a capital tie-up, according to Friday's announcement. They are negotiating a deal where Imabari, the larger of the two, will take a nearly 30% stake in JMU by purchasing new shares. A final agreement is due by fiscal year-end.

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