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Business deals

Japanese drugstore chains discuss merger to become top player

Sugi and Cocokara Fine will pursue a deal but another rival is also in the running

A Sugi Holdings store, left, and a Cocokara Fine location. Sugi is strong in greater Nagoya while Cocokara has many stores in the Tokyo and Osaka metropolitan areas.

NAGOYA, Japan -- Sugi Holdings and Cocokara Fine will discuss integrating their businesses, the companies said Saturday, in a deal that would give rise to Japan's largest drugstore chain.

The sixth- and seventh-ranked players in terms of sales will establish a committee to explore a merger, with an aim to reach a basic agreement by the end of July. Details such as the merger ratio will be ironed out by this committee.

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