Shareholder retreat suggests all bets are off regarding sale of OOCL

Shareholder retreat suggests all bets are off regarding sale of OOCL

Shares in the parent of Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) plummeted nearly 10% today as the company reiterated comments first made to Splash yesterday that the liner is not for sale.

Orient Overseas (International) Limited (OOIL), the parent of OOCL, said it was not aware of any bid being made for the liner in a release to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

OOIL was prompted into action after multiple reports this week suggested China’s Cosco Shipping was tabling a $4bn+ bid for OOCL, the world’s ninth largest containerline.

Splash has also received an email, which is allegedly from the ceo of OOCL, Andy Tung, addressed to all staff in which he stressed talk of a takeover or merger was “untrue”.

“OOCL has never been amongst the biggest in fleet size,” the email reads. “However, we have consistently managed to compete effectively amongst our peers during both the up and down cycles of the industry, and have also maintained one of the most healthy balance sheets.”

The email, which is labelled from Andy Tung, asserted that the line remains “fully confident in our future”.

OOIL’s share price closed today at HK$40.80, down HK$4.25.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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