Japanese heavy machinery makers IHI Corp. and JFE Holdings Inc. said they have agreed to begin concrete talks on merging their shipbuilding subsidiaries, a move that would create 's biggest shipbuilder.
The move comes as Japanese shipbuilders face intensifying competition from regional rivals and , the International Tribune reported.
IHI and JFE will establish a committee to discuss the details of how operations of IHI subsidiary, IHI Marine United Inc., and its JFE counterpart, Universal Shipbuilding Corp., can be integrated, the companies said in a joint statement.
They will also discuss production details, merger ratios and ways to stay competitive in shipbuilding operations, they said.
JFE, which operates a wide range of engineering business, including steel manufacturing, boosted its stake in Universal Shipbuilding last year to 85 percent by buying a 35 percent stake from shipbuilder Hitachi Zosen Corp.
Source: International Tribune