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Court rejects Idemitsu family petition to block new share issue -Nikkei

TOKYO, July 18 (Reuters) - A Tokyo court on Tuesday rejected a petition by Idemitsu Kosan Co's founding family to block the Japanese refinery from issuing new shares, clearing the way for a merger with rival Showa Shell Sekiyu, the Nikkei reported on its online edition.

Idemitsu Kosan announced the share issuance plan on July 3, saying it needed to raise $1.2 billion partly to pay back loans. The founding family quickly sought a court injunction to block the share issue, which it said would significantly reduce its stake. The family and management are locked in a fierce and drawn-out battle over the merger plan.

Idemitsu Kosan was not immediately available to comment. (Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)