• Japan mega-merger given a name, home city

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    Japan’s big three shipping lines have unveiled their new joint venture, Ocean Network Express, and have said they will establish an operational headquarters in Singapore.

    The joint venture, which has yet to receive regulatory approval in Japan, is a merger of the container shipping businesses of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line), Mitsui OSK Lines and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line), including their respective terminal operation businesses around the world.

    In a joint statement on Wednesday, the companies said that they were in the process of setting up a holding company in Japan, and incorporating an operating company in Singapore.

    In addition to its regional headquarters in Singapore, Ocean Network Express will also establish offices in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom (London), the United States (Richmond, Virginia), and Brazil (Sao Paulo).

    “The move will allow Ocean Network Express to better meet customers’ needs by providing high-quality, competitive services through the consolidation and enhancement of the three companies’ global network and service structures,” said the liners.

    They added that the establishment of the new joint venture will be announced officially once all anti-trust reviews are completed and that the service commencement date for Ocean Network Express is April 1, 2018.

    The deal was first announced in October last year, following a wave of mergers and acquisitions in the global container shipping industry as firms struggled with severe overcapacity and falling freight rates.

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