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Japan firms say mergers held up by China regulators

Published on Dec 21, 2012 6:01 PM
In this file picture, Sony Corp's President and Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai (L) and Olympus Corp's President Hiroyuki Sasa bow after their joint news conference in Tokyo on October 1, 2012. They announced Sony Corp will pay 50 billion yen to become the biggest shareholder in Olympus Corp, and establish a company with the cash-strapped Japanese camera and endoscope maker to develop medical equipment.  Reports say the planned medical device merger has been delayed until next year. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - Sony and Olympus said on Friday their planned medical device merger has been delayed until next year, with reports and some firms saying it was the latest corporate marriage held up by Chinese regulators.

Firms in Japan, which is embroiled in a territorial row with Beijing, have launched a string of mergers and acquisitions including blockbuster deals such as Softbank's US$20 billion (S$24.41 billion) takeover of US-based Sprint Nextel.

But some are blaming delays in completing the deals due to holdups by China's anti-trust regulators, with home builder Daiwa House Industry saying it is delaying a planned US$595 million purchase of contractor Fujita.

A share transfer that was to happen on Thursday will now be pushed back "because procedures under Chinese competition law remain in effect", Daiwa House said in a statement.

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