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Oji Holdings to Buy 1/3 of Mitsubishi Paper

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Japan’s Oji Holdings Corp. at the end of this past month (Dec. 2018) said it has agreed to buy 33% of peer Mitsubishi Paper Mills Ltd. as the pair seek to drive down costs in the face of competition from Asian rivals and consumers’ shift to digital media.

Oji will buy newly issued shares in Mitsubishi at 726 yen each for a total of around 7.6 billion yen ($69.68 million), the companies said in a joint statement. Mitsubishi Paper shares closed on Tuesday at 719 yen.

They said they plan to cut costs by cooperating on logistics and sharing raw materials purchases.

Domestic demand for printing paper has fallen 30% from a decade ago due to a shift to digital media, while competition from Asian rivals was also threatening Japanese paper manufacturers, they said.

"In this environment, Oji Holdings and Mitsubishi Paper Mills cannot continue stable operations or growth if they stay on the current management strategy track," they said.

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