Idemitsu Kosan may acquire Showa Shell Sekiyu KK for YEN 500 billion (US$ 4.1 billion)

SHELL may exit Japan after 138 years here

Idemitsu Kosan (出光興産株式会社) aims for market leadership

On December 20, 2014, both Idemitsu Kosan and Showa Shell separately announced that they had entered into discussions of possible business reorganization, indicating that Idemitsu Kosan may acquire Showa Shell next year. Because Showa Shell Sekiyu KK is a Japanese company traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, such an acquisition would be via a tender offer for outstanding shares.

With the development of fuel efficient cars and the shrinking population, refined oil products are a shrinking market in Japan, and a merger between Idemitsu Kosan and Showa Shell is a consequence of consolidation of this shrinking market.

This merger would also mean a departure of Royal Dutch Shell from the Japanese market.

Showa Shell Sekiyu KK (昭和シェル石油株式会社)

Listed on Tokyo Stock Exchange (TKS5002)
Market cap: YEN 384 billion (= US$ 3.2 billion)

Although Showa Shell Sekiyu KK (昭和シェル石油株式会社) generally uses the famous yellow and red Shell logo, Showa Shell Sekiyu KK (昭和シェル石油株式会社) is not a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc, but its a public company traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE5002), with a large number of shareholders beyond Royal Dutch Shell plc, which is the largest shareholder with a holding of 35.0%.

Given Royal Dutch Shell plc’s holding of 35.0%, this holding currently is worth approx. YEN 134.4 billion (US$ 1.12 billion).

35% of the reported tender offer price would correspond to YEN 175 billion (US$ 1.44 billion)


  • 35.0% Royal Dutch Shell Plc
  • 14.9% Government of Saudi Arabia
  • 1.8% Nomura Asset Management Co., Ltd.
  • 0.9% Daiwa Asset Management Co. Ltd.
  • 0.9% Nikko Asset Management Co., Ltd.
  • 0.7% Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. LLC
  • 0.7% SEB Investment Management AB
  • 0.6% BlackRock Fund Advisors
  • 0.6% The Vanguard Group, Inc.
  • 0.6% Norges Bank Investment Management
  • 42.7% others
  • —————————————
  • 100.0% Total

related: Solar Frontier KK

Solar Frontier KK is a 100% owned subsidiary of Showa Shell Sekiyu KK, developing and manufacturing copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar cells and related business, such as developing and operating solar power stations using CIGS cells.

Revenues and market shares in Japan’s oil/gasoline markets

With a merger of Idemitsu and Showa-Shell, the combined company will have a firm second position with a 30% market share, very close to the market leader JX Holdings with 34% market share.

History of Shell and Showa Shell Sekiyu KK (昭和シェル石油株式会社) in Japan

Showa Shell Sekiyu KK (昭和シェル石油株式会社) is the basis of the Royal Dutch Shell Group in Japan.

Showa Shell Sekiyu KK (昭和シェル石油株式会社) was formed on January 1, 1985 by the merger of Showa Oil Co Ltd and Shell Sekiyu KK. The Royal Dutch Shell Group had a shareholding in Showa Oil Co Ltd since June 1951.

Shell Sekiyu KK goes back to Samuel Samuel & Co, started by Samuel Samuel in partnership with his brother Marcus Samuel, 1st Viscount Bearstead (subsequently The Lord Bearstead and The Rt. Hon. The Viscount Bearsted Bt. – the founder of the Shell Transport and Trading Company), in Yokohama around 1876. Samuel Samuel & Co set up the Rising Sun Petroleum Co Ltd. In 1947, Rising Sun Petroleum Company was renamed Shell Sekiyu.

Shell Sekiyu and Showa Sekiyu merged in 1985 to form Showa Shell Sekiyu.

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