Officials at Hong Kong’s Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) remain coy over a possible takeover or merger.
Widespread reports have Beijing’s Cosco Shipping as the suitor for the Tung family controlled line, but spokespeople at OOCL refuse to confirm negotiations are ongoing, while officials at Cosco have also told Splash they are unaware of any deal in the offing.
An OOCL spokesperson told Splash today: “The company confirms that it is not involved in, nor is it aware of, any bid relating to OOIL or OOCL.” OOIL is the Hong Kong-listed parent of the containerline.
The spokesperson continued: “The container shipping industry faced a challenging market in 2016, but has seen positive improvement as we enter 2017. The company remains committed to serving its customers with the best possible product, and maintaining its traditional operational excellence and robust balance sheet.”
Both Beijing business daily Caixin and the Wall Street Journal have indicated Cosco Shipping has tabled a bid in excess of $4bn for the Hong Kong line in recent days.