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Hitachi, Sagawa Express Said to Consider Logistics Merger

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Hitachi Ltd.’s transportation unit and SG Holdings Co. will buy stakes in each other’s distribution businesses in Japan and consider a possible merger, according to two people familiar with the situation.

Hitachi will sell about a 30 percent stake in Hitachi Transport System Ltd. to SG Holdings, the owner of logistics company Sagawa Express Co., said one person, who asked not to be identified because a final decision hasn’t been made. Closely held SG Holdings will sell about 20 percent of Sagawa to Hitachi Transport, said the other person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

Sagawa, Japan’s second-largest courier service, and Hitachi will hold separate board meetings Wednesday and announce their decisions at a press conference later in the day, the two people said. The Nikkei reported the possible merger earlier Wednesday.

Hitachi Transport rose as much as 10 percent to 1,997 yen and traded at 1,925 yen as of 12:58 p.m. in Tokyo. Hitachi fell 1.3 percent to 526.9 yen and the Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 0.6 percent.

Hitachi will hold a board meeting Wednesday to discuss transferring Hitachi Transport shares to SG Holdings, the company said in an e-mailed statement. SG said it isn’t the source of the report and will make any announcements in a timely manner, according to a statement on its website Wednesday.

Hitachi Transport has bought stakes in companies to help its expansion domestically and overseas, including Turkey’s Mars Logistics Group, Hong Kong’s CDS Freight Holding Ltd. in 2013 and Japan’s Vantec Corp. in 2011.

SG Holdings has also expanded overseas, opening a delivery service in Vietnam and forming a business alliance with Korea’s Hanjin Transportation Co. in 2011 and China Courier Service Corp. in 2006.

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