ITOCHU Announces the Formation of a Capital and Business Alliance with Oriental Shiraishi Corporation

May 16, 2023

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that ITOCHU has agreed on a capital and business partnership with Oriental Shiraishi Corporation (headquartered in Koto-ku, Tokyo; Tatsuya Ohno, President and CEO; hereinafter "Oriental Shiraishi"). ITOCHU will accept new shares of Oriental Shiraishi stock through a third-party allotment and become the largest shareholder in Oriental Shiraishi (number of shares held: 16,310,964 shares; ownership ratio: 12%). Through this capital and business alliance, ITOCHU will strengthen its partnership further with leading companies in the fields of construction and real estate and move forward with initiatives to address social issues such as national resilience.

Oriental Shiraishi is one of Japan's leading bridge manufacturers, leveraging its advanced proprietary technologies to construct bridges and undertake a wide range of other infrastructure projects across the country. The company has constructed many famous large and long bridges, including Tsunoshima Bridge and Rainbow Bridge. In addition, Oriental Shiraishi is a pioneer in the infrastructure maintenance market, for instance with its participation in expressway renovation projects, the number of which have been increasing in recent years.

Recently, the aging of the roadway infrastructure in Japan has been a serious social issue. In particular with regards to bridges, there are over 700,000 structures nationwide (including overpasses) and the aging of these bridges is significant. By FY2032, approximately 60% of all bridges will be more than 50 years old. Measures to address the aging of infrastructure must be taken immediately to ensure safety and security. However, with insufficient capacity among contractors, the rate of progress against the road renewal budgets is only 41%, even for expressways, for which a relatively large number of renovation projects are underway (contract basis as of January 31, 2023). Further, measures to address the aging of bridges managed by local governments cannot be taken at all, due in part to shortages of financial, human and other resources.

Through this capital and business alliance, ITOCHU will leverage Oriental Shiraishi's sophisticated technological capabilities and expertise to help eliminate the capacity shortage affecting the renovation of expressways in Japan. For general roads, which will require measures to address aging in the future, ITOCHU will build preventive infrastructure maintenance frameworks, including public-private collaborations, with the goal of building safe and secure social infrastructure.

ITOCHU’s targets laid out in its medium-term management plan are “realizing business transformation by shifting to a market-oriented perspective” and “enhancing our contribution to and engagement with the SDGs through business activities”. Through this capital and business alliance, ITOCHU will promote “the strengthening of the bridge infrastructure maintenance business and the expansion of business domains”, “the implementation of initiatives for building a safe and secure society”, and “the enhancement of its customer base and competitiveness”, thus improving the medium- to long-term corporate value of the two companies and helping build a sustainable society.

Yanagishima Bridge, Shin-Tomei expressway, Shizuoka, Japan

Outline of Oriental Shiraishi Corporation

Corporate name Oriental Shiraishi Corporation
Headquarters 5-6-52 Toyosu, Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Representative Tatsuya Ohno, President and CEO
Business activities Production, sale and construction of prestressed concrete products and structures
Construction of pneumatic caissons
Repair, retrofit and reinforcement of infrastructures
Design and construction of earthquake-resistant buildings
Sale of construction materials and devices
Solar power generation, supply and sale including solar power plant operation and administration
Capital 1,000 million yen
Established October 21, 1952