China’s state-run AVIC International has announced that it is now in preliminary discussions with potential investors regarding a possible disposal of its shipping-related businesses.
AVIC International Holdings mainly operates ship design, shipbuilding and ship trading businesses and controls two shipyards, AVIC Dingheng and AVIC Weihai, and the ship design unit Deltamarin.
AVIC Dingheng mainly focuses on the construction of small product tankers and currently has an orderbook of 23 tankers, while AVIC Weihai has switched its focus to passenger roro ships.
Industry sources tell Splash that China Merchants Group is very likely to be the potential investor in the deal, which could see the AVIC yards merge with China Merchants Heavy Industry.
Last year, China Merchants Group completed the takeover of Sinotrans & CSC, which also runs a number of shipyards via subsidiary Sinotrans & CSC Shipbuilding Industry.
If the deal materialises, China Merchants Heavy Industry will become the fourth largest state-run shipbuilding group in China following CSSC, CSIC and Cosco Shiping Heavy Industry.