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Tuesday, 6 February 2024, 16:27 HKT/SGT
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Source: Mitsubishi Corporation
Mitsubishi Corporation, KDDI CORPORATION, Lawson, Inc. have entered into the Capital Business Partnership Agreement
Creation of New Consumer values by "Real x Digital x Green"

TOKYO, Feb 6, 2024 - (JCN Newswire) - On February 6, 2024, Mitsubishi Corporation (MC), KDDI CORPORATION(KDDI), Lawson, Inc.(Lawson), announced that the companies signed a capital business partnership agreement to aim for creation of new consumer values by integrating "Real, Digital, and Green" elements.

MC and KDDI agreed on the deal related to Lawson delisting after public tender offer, and KDDI is planning to conduct a public tender offer for shares of Lawson. After the deal is completed, MC and KDDI will own 50% of Lawson shares each, and the companies will commit to enhance corporate value of Lawson as business partners.

1.Vision

In the convenience store business of Lawson, MC and KDDI aim to realize the “Hub of refreshment in every community" which integrates "Real, Digital, and Green" to create new consumer values.

Through this partnership, MC, KDDI and Lawson aim to provide sustainable services addressing various societal challenges including “Green” (reduction of environmental footprints) by combining the functionalities and services of KDDI and Lawson with one of the Japan’s largest consumer touchpoints including Lawson's real customers of over 10 million per day at approximately 14,600 stores with the digital customers of over 31 million from KDDI.

2.Considerations in this Partnership

(1) Real

Lawson and KDDI will merge their real touchpoints (Lawson stores: approximately 14,600, au Style/au shop stores: approximately 2,200) to establish large real-store networks in Japan. This will enable Lawson to expand its store network and enhance its functionalities, aiming for further improvement in customer convenience.

Example

- Handling Lawson Products/Services(PB, Loppi, Lawson Bank ATM etc.) in au Style/au Shop.
- Handling KDDI products/services in Lawson stores (telecommunication-related products, Bank/Insurance services, Healthcare services, Entertainment services, Mobility services, etc.).
- Providing services supporting everyday lives of Lawson customers by installing online remote customer service.

(2) Digital

KDDI's customer attribute data and location data, along with Lawson's customer purchase data, will be integrated leading to establishment of one of the largest customer data platforms in Japan, utilized for data analysis.

Example

- Developing services for KDDI and Lawson customers to provide good shopping deals, expanding customer visits to Lawson stores.
- Optimizing Lawson's store operations through the provision of KDDI's digital transformation insights and technology.

(3) Green

We aim to realize green and sustainable consumer society by contributing to Lawson’s Environmental Vision “Lawson Blue Challenge 2050!”(Note), as making the most of our business foundations.

Example

- Reducing CO2 emissions by installation of solar panels at Lawson Stores.
- Circular economy businesses, such as manufacturing biodiesel from oil waste disposed at Lawson Stores.
- Reducing plastic use by replacing plastic containers and PET bottle materials with biomass materials at Lawson stores.

(Note) “Lawson Blue Challenge 2050!” was formulated in 2019 as the Lawson’s environmental vision that focuses on three areas: (i) reduction of CО2 emissions, (ii) reduction of food waste, and (iii) reduction of plastic use (e.g. containers and shopping bags)

3. Background about this Partnership

(1) Overview of business environment

We anticipate the increasing significance of convenience stores as essential regional infrastructure based on the projection of accelerated population decline and aging demographics. Meanwhile, utilization of "digital technology” will be essential to supplement labor shortages due to declining working populations and regional disparities. Furthermore, with increase of societal demands for "green", we anticipate that there will be more significant shifts in consumer consciousness for “green,” and changes in external environment.

Moreover, in the retail sector in recent years, companies are expanding businesses areas, developing cross-industry operations and services, constructing their respective economic zone. In such an environment, we believe it is crucial to provide convenience and profitability suited to customer preferences to continue being chosen by customers.

(2) Purpose of the Partnership

The convenience store industry has become an indispensable part of society as a stable supplier of food and daily necessities. After diversification of customer lifestyles, consumption behaviors, and values, triggered by COVID’ 19, Lawson has been addressing these changes by enhancing products and services such as in-store kitchens, frozen foods, and delivery services to adapt to the "new normal."

Meanwhile, Lawson aims to strengthen collaboration with KDDI, which has a customer base built on telecommunications-related businesses and various digital services to respond to the accelerating changes in the business environment. This led to the signing of the partnership agreement.

KDDI is expanding into a wide range of business areas including mobile telecommunications as core business, as well as banking, insurance, education, travel, and delivery services. Additionally, KDDI operates one of Japan's largest subscription services au Smart-Pass Premium with over 13 million users.

Lawson has a broad range of customer touchpoints with approximately 14,600 convenience stores in Japan, as well as supermarket chains “SEIJO-ISHII”, entertainment business including ticket sales, movie theaters, travel agencies of “Lawson Entertainment”, and financial services of ”Lawson Bank” through in-store ATMs.

By developing real-digital hybrid services as leveraging each other's customer bases and services, we aim to expand our store networks, enhance service offerings at Lawson stores such as telecommunication, finance, healthcare, and education, and expand economic zones of loyalty point program. Additionally, we work towards achieving Lawson's long-term goal of realizing a decarbonized society by environmental reduction measures.

4. Overview of the public tender offer

KDDI is planning to conduct a public tender offer for shares of Lawson. If the offer is completed, we plan to conduct series of procedures to make MC and KDDI the only major shareholders of Lawson. After the deal, MC and KDDI will hold 50% of voting rights in Lawson. If the procedures are conducted, it is expected to result in Lawson being delisted from the stock exchange.

We consider that this transaction will allow us to deal with environmental changes more flexibly and accelerate the strengthening of our partnership as outlined above by making the most of MC and KDDI’s business foundations, human resources, expertise, and networks, leading to enhancement of Lawson’s corporate value.

About Mitsubishi Corporation (MC)

Head office address: 2-3-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo,Japan

Business:  MC is a global integrated business enterprise that develops and operates businesses together with its global network of around 1,700 group companies. MC has 10 Business Groups that operate across virtually every industry(Natural Gas, Industrial Materials, Petroleum & Chemicals, Mineral Resources, Industrial Infrastructure, Automotive & Mobility, Food Industry, Consumer Industry, Power Solution, and Urban Development), plus the addition of Industry DX Group and Next-Generation Energy Business Group.

About KDDI CORPORATION

Head Office address: 3-10-10 Iidabashi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Business: Telecommunications business

About Lawson, Inc.

Head Office address: 11-2, Osaki 1-chome, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Business: Franchise chain development of “LAWSON”

Inquiry Recipient:
Mitsubishi Corporation : +81-3-3210-2171
KDDI CORPORATION : +81-3-6678-0690
Lawson, Inc. : +81-3-5435-2773




Topic: Press release summary
Source: Mitsubishi Corporation

Sectors: Daily Finance
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