Marubeni Corporation (丸紅株式会社 Marubeni Kabushiki-gaisha) (TYO: 8002, OSE: 8002, NSE: 8002) is a sōgō shōsha (general trading company) headquartered in Nihonbashi, Chuo, Tokyo, Japan. It is the fifth-largest sogo shosha and has leading market shares in cereal and paper pulp trading as well as a strong electrical and industrial plant business. Marubeni is a member of the Mizuho keiretsu.
|Traded as||TYO: 8002|
|Industry||General trading company|
(President and CEO)
|Owner||Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance (2.42%)|
Meiji Yasuda Life (2.41%)
Number of employees
|39,126 including subsidiaries (Mar. 2013)|
Marubeni was established in 1918 as Itochu Shoten, Ltd. in a spin-off of certain sales divisions of C. Itoh & Co. (Itochu) into a separate entity. Itochu Shoten merged with Itoh Chobei Shoten in 1921 to form Marubeni Shoten, Ltd. under the leadership of Chobei Itoh IX. Marubeni started out as a textile trading firm and expanded to trade in other consumer and industrial goods during the 1920s.
Marubeni was re-combined with Itochu during World War II to form Sanko Kabushiki Kaisha Ltd. (1941–44) and Daiken Company, Ltd. (1944–48). This conglomerate was dismantled in the wake of the war and Marubeni again emerged as a separate trading company in 1949. Post-war Marubeni was predominantly a textile trading firm at its outset, but diversified into machinery, metals and chemicals, with textiles barely forming a majority of its business by the end of the decade.
Marubeni merged with Takashimaya-Iida, a trading company that owned the Takashimaya department store chain, in 1955, changing its name to Marubeni-Iida from 1955 to 1972. The merger was orchestrated by Fuji Bank in order to create a stronger trading company partner for the bank's corporate customers. Marubeni and Fuji Bank developed a network of corporate clients which was formalized as the Fuyo Group keiretsu in the 1960s, paralleling the development of the DKB Group and Sanwa Group. The Fuyo Group included Hitachi, Nissan, Canon, Showa Denko, Kubota and Nippon Steel.
Marubeni was rocked by a series of scandals in the 1970s and 1980s. In the early 1970s Marubeni was accused of hoarding rice on the black market for profiteering purposes. In 1976, numerous Marubeni and All Nippon Airways executives were arrested in connection with the bribery of Japanese government officials to support the sales of Lockheed aircraft in Japan; the scandal also led to several suicides and the arrest of Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka. In 1986, Marubeni was found to have bribed Filipino President Ferdinand Marcos and several of his friends and associates in connection with Japanese ODA work in the Philippines.
Marubeni, like other sogo shosha, was hit hard by the collapse of the Japanese asset price bubble in the early 1990s and recorded its first annual net loss in 1998. The company again booked massive losses as part of a restructuring in 2001, with its stock price plummeting to 58 yen per share in December 2001.
In January 2012, Marubeni Corporation agreed to pay a US$54.6 million criminal penalty to settle multiple US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) charges relating to its work as an agent for the TSKJ joint venture. The TSKJ joint venture comprising Technip, Snamprogetti Netherlands, Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) and JGC Corporation hired Marubeni to bribe lower-level Nigerian government officials to help it obtain and retain contracts to build liquefied natural gas facilities on Bonny Island in Nigeria. TSKJ paid Marubeni US$51 million which was intended, in part, to be used to bribe Nigerian government officials. Two years later, and just months after its final settlement in the Nigerian case, Marubeni was charged under the FCPA for bribing Indonesian officials in order to secure a $118 million power project contract for a joint venture between Marubeni and Alstom; it agreed to pay an $88 million fine in connection with this case.
In September 2018, The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Marubeni Corporation and Russia's AEON Corporation agreed to develop an industrial facility in Volgograd. The total investment is estimated at over $800 million with construction due to start in 2020.
Marubeni's head office moved to the Tokyo Nihombashi Tower in 2016. The company plans to construct a dedicated head office building in the future.
Marubeni's business is organized in five groups:
- Food & Consumer Products Group - Trades in grain and food products, apparel, functional materials and rubber, and provides logistics, insurance, finance and real estate services. Has a strategic partnership with Want Want China.
- Chemical & Forest Products Group - Trades in chemicals, pulp and paper and distributes solar panels and energy storage units. One major unit is the Helena Chemical Company, the second-largest agricultural chemical distributor in the US, which Marubeni acquired from Bayer in 1987.
- Energy & Metals Group - Trades in oil, gas, nuclear fuel, iron, steel, and other metals and minerals.
- Power Projects & Plant Group - Develops power plants, environmental plants, marine projects, industrial plants and transport infrastructure. Projects include the Westermost Rough Wind Farm in the UK, FSRU and FPSO projects in South America, and operation of the G:link light rail in Australia.
- Transportation & Industrial Machinery Group - Trades in aircraft (Aircastle), ships, automobiles, and construction and industrial machinery.
- The Marubeni Aerospace Corporation is a major component of this group, making up part of the group's Aerospace & Ship Division. MAC was formed in 1998 when Marubeni acquired the trading rights and other assets of the former aerospace division of Okura & Co., Ltd. (Okura Aerospace Co., Ltd.)
- In 2000, Marubeni obtained UK based Automotive dealer group, the RRG Group.
- Minoru Arakawa worked in overseas real estate development at Marubeni during the 1970s prior to founding Nintendo of America in 1980.
- Yohei Kono, member of the House of Representatives and former Foreign Minister, worked at Marubeni from 1959 to 1967 before entering politics.
- Toshimitsu Motegi, member of the House of Representatives and former State Minister, worked at Marubeni before entering politics.
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