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Business deals

Mitsui E&S and Tsuneishi to operate jointly in shipbuilding

The Japanese companies aim to compete against Chinese and South Korean rivals

Mitsui E&S operates the Tamano Shipyard in Okayama Prefecture.

TOKYO -- Japanese shipbuilder Mitsui E&S Holdings is in discussions with compatriot Tsuneishi Holdings to form a shipbuilding tie-up, at a time when the domestic industry is struggling to compete with Chinese and South Korean rivals.

The two companies announced on Friday an agreement to start discussions. Under the plan, Tsuneishi will acquire a minority stake in Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui E&S. The two sides expect to reach an agreement by yearend, with details such as investment ratios to be ironed out later.

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