COSCO Shipping has offered to acquire all the shares in Orient Overseas Container Line’s (OOCL) container shipping business, in a move that would make the Chinese state-owned carrier the third largest line in the world.
The offer price for each OOIL shares is HK$78.67 (US$9.34), totalling HK$49.23bn) (US$6.30bn) in cash while the Hong Kong-based carrier last closed on HK$57.10 (US$6.78).
OOIL’s controlling shareholder, which currently holds a 68.7%stake in the carrier, has irrevocably undertaken to accept the offer although regulatory approvals are still necessary as well as approval from COSCO Shipping shareholders.
The offer is in conjunction with Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG), who would hold a 9.9% stake in Orient Overseas International Limited (OOIL), with COSCO holding the 90.1% majority share.
The combined COSCO Shipping Lines and OOIL will operate more than 400 vessels, with capacity exceeding 2.9m teu including orderbook.
Post closing, the intention is for OOIL to continue to operate under its brand, maintaining its listed status and retaining all employees for at least 24 months.
Both carriers are members of the Ocean Alliance which also features CMA CGM and Evergreen Line.