China Cosco Shipping Holdings has entered into sale and purchase agreements with three strategic investors for the proposed sale of up to 15.1% equity shares of OOIL, the parent company of Hong Kong containerline OOCL, for a total price of around HK$7.4bn ($946.7m). The move keeps OOIL within Hong Kong Stock Exchage guidelines whereby no single entity can control more than 75% of a listed company.
Under the agreements, Crest Apex, a subsidiary of port and infrastructure investment firm CK Hutchison, will acquire the first batch of up to 4.99% of OOIL shares. Rongshi International, a unit of China’s State Development & Investment Corporation, will buy the next batch of around 2.38% of OOIL shares, while PSD Investo, a special purpose vehicle of China’s Silk Road Fund, will take over the remaining 7.73% shares in OOIL.
Cosco said the entry of the agreements demonstrates the parties’ long term commitments to deepening of future commercial ties, which is also consistent with China’s Belt and Road initiative.
CK Hutchison operates a number of ports along the Belt and Road and Cosco belives increased collaboration between the ports and shipping businesses of the two groups will allow further synergies to be achieved.
Last Friday, Cosco announced that all the preconditions to the takeover of OOIL have been fulfilled after it received approval from the Anti-monoply Bureau of China.