Oil distributors Idemitsu Kosan Co. and Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. have decided to postpone their planned April merger as Idemitsu has yet to gain consent for the deal from the founding family, the two companies said Thursday.

Idemitsu, the nation's second largest wholesaler, and Showa Shell, the fifth biggest, announced the decision at a joint news conference on Thursday afternoon in Tokyo.

Idemitsu President Takashi Tsukioka said the company will continue trying to persuade its founding family to give its consent to the planned merger.