Financially troubled domestic container shipping operator Antong Holdings is expected to receive financially support from both China Merchants Port Holdings (CMPH) and AVIC Trust if the company’s restructuring process goes smoothly.
According to Antong, the company signed an agreement with AVIC Trust under which the latter agreed to make strategic investment to support the company’s restructuring under the condition that the court approves the restructuring plan. Additionally, CMPH sent a letter to Antong showing its intention to join the restructuring under similar conditions.
In March, AVIC Trust, a major creditor of Antong, applied with the court to restructure the company. The court case against the company came only six months after Antong Holdings entered into a strategic framework agreement with AVIC Trust and CMPH to start a series of collaborations.
Antong’s two major subsidiaries, Antong Logistics and Ansheng Shipping, have already entered into a restructuring process at the request of creditors in December last year.
The controlling shareholders of Antong Holdings, Guo Dongsheng and Guo Dongze, are currently dealing with a serious financial crisis after an illegal guarantee scandal involving Guo Dongze was disclosed, with total liabilities of the Guo brothers amounting to RMB8bn ($1.1bn).
Earlier this month, China Securities Regulatory Commission banned Guo Dongsheng and Guo Dongze from participating in Chinese stock markets for life for several irregularities including untimely disclosure of dozens of major connected transactions and lawsuits the company is involved in.
According to Alphaliner, Antong Holdings operates a fleet of 113 ships with total capacity of around 143,000 teu, making it the second largest domestic containership operator in China after Zhonggu Logistics.