Japan’s Sumitomo Warehouse said today that its wholly owned subsidiary, J-WeSco, signed a contract to acquire a 100 percent stake in Westwood Shipping Lines, a U.S. shipping firm, for about $53 million.
At present, shares in the Federal Way, Washington-based Westwood Shipping Lines are all held by Weyerhaeuser NR, a wholly owned subsidiary of Weyerhaeuser, one of the world’s largest pulp and paper companies.
By the Numbers: U.S. Foreign Trade.
Sumitomo Warehouse said that it agreed to acquire Westwood Shipping Lines through J-WeSco as part of efforts to further expand its international operations.
Closing of the transaction is scheduled for Aug.31, 2011, Sumitomo Warehouse said.
Tokyo-based J-WeSco had obtained preferential negotiating rights to take over Westwood Shipping Lines and held negotiations with Weyerhaeuser NR in hopes of signing a final agreement in June or July.
According to Sumitomo Warehouse, Westwood Shipping Lines is engaged in services between North America and three Asian countries -- Japan, South Korea and China. The U.S. shipping firm’s annual revenue totaled $246 million last year.
Sumitomo Warehouse, based in Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, western Japan, is mainly engaged in the integrated logistics business. The company posted about 130.4 billion yen (US$1.63 billion) in group revenue in fiscal 2010, which ended on March 31, 2011.
“With this change of ownership Westwood will continue present operations with its fleet of seven ships operating in the Japan, Korea, China, and Pacific Northwest gateways,” said Guy C. Stephenson, president of Westwood Shipping Lines.
“All of our customers’ needs will continue to be met – it will be business as usual,” Stephenson said. “J-WeSco is uniquely positioned to support Westwood’s ongoing business as well as its future service enhancements,” he added.
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