OOIL denies reports of OOCL sale to Cosco

Orient Overseas International Ltd (OOIL) has again denied media reports that cited sources as saying that China’s Cosco Shipping is preparing to acquire its container shipping unit Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL).

A spokesman from OOIL told Seatrade Maritime News that the company’s statement on the matter “has always remained consistent”, and reiterated that “the company and OOCL is not aware of, nor is it involved in any bid relating to the company or OOCL.”

Reports have speculated on Cosco Shipping planning to acquire OOCL following an extended suspension of shares trading for the Hong Kong and Shanghai-listed Cosco Shipping Holdings since 17 May.

Cosco Shipping said the shares suspension is due to the group “proposing to plan for certain material matters which involve the company”, and “such material matters constitute material asset restructuring based on discussion and negotiation among the parties.”

Back in January this year, there were rumours that Cosco Shipping was readying a bid in excess of $4bn to takeover OOCL. Both OOIL and Cosco Shipping had flatly denied the matter back then.

Posted 21 June 2017
Lee Hong Liang

Asia Correspondent