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FamilyMart-Uny team to take on Seven-Eleven

President Ueda, second from left, announced the merger Thursday.

TOKYO -- The union of FamilyMart and Uny Group Holdings has created a formidable player in the Japanese convenience store market that could rival top dog Seven-Eleven, with the changed landscape expected to further heat up competition.

Thursday's merger will bring Circle K Sunkus, previously the fourth-largest convenience store chain, into the FamilyMart camp. FamilyMart Uny Holdings' will have 18,123 stores, including 11,872 FamilyMart outlets and 6,251 Circle K and Sunkus locations, surpassing the tally for Lawson

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