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Business

Three Japanese marine shippers to merge container businesses

TOKYO -- Three Japanese marine shipping companies, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, jointly announced Monday plans to consolidate their container shipping businesses, amid a soft market driven by a glut in ships.

The companies will establish a joint venture in July 2017 that will begin operation in April 2018. The partners expect to spend around 300 billion yen ($2.8 billion) on the new business, and hope to gain around 110 billion yen a year.

The combined company, which has a fleet of 256 ships, is expected to have total sales of around 2 trillion yen. The new company's capacity will be 1.38 million twenty-foot equivalent units. That would give it about 7% of the global market and make it the world's sixth-largest marine shipper.

The three companies are scheduled to announce their April-September half-year earnings Monday afternoon.

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