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July 10, 2017

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COSCO in ambitious expansion plan

COSCO Shipping Holdings Co Ltd has offered to buy Orient Overseas International Ltd for HK$49.23 billion (US$6.17 billion) in a deal that will see the mainland group become the world’s third largest container line.

The proposed deal is the latest in wave of mergers and acquisitions in global container shipping that has left the top six shipping lines controlling 63 percent of the market. OOIL’s shipping subsidiary, OOCL, has a 2.7 percent slice of the market.

COSCO Shipping is offering HK$78.67 for each OOIL share, a premium of 37.8 percent over OOIL's closing price of HK$57.10 on its last trading date, the companies said in filings with the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges on Sunday.

OOIL's controlling shareholders had on Friday agreed to sell their 68.7 percent stake at that price to COSCO Shipping, which is making the offer with Shanghai Port International Group that will take 9.9 percent, they said.

COSCO Shipping will have a fleet of more than 400 vessels and capacity exceeding 2.9 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) if the deal succeeds.

This would make it the world's largest container line after Denmark's Maersk Line MAERSKb.Co and Switzerland's Mediterranean Shipping Company, according to Singapore-based transport research firm Crucial Perspective.


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