COSCO Shipping Holdings Co. Ltd. and Shanghai International Port (Group) Co., Ltd (SIPG) have made a pre-conditional voluntary general offer to all shareholders of Orient Overseas (International) Limited (OOIL), to acquire all issued OOIL shares at an offer price of HK$78.67 in cash. On completion, assuming all OOIL shareholders tender their shares, COSCO SHIPPING Holdings will hold 90.1%, while SIPG will hold 9.9% of OOIL.
The Offer is dependent upon the satisfaction of pre-conditions, which include the necessary regulatory approvals, as well as approval from COSCO Shipping Holdings shareholders. The controlling shareholder, who currently holds 68.7% of OOIL, has irrevocably undertaken to accept the offer.
According to OOIL, the combination of COSCO Shipping Holdings and OOIL can deliver a stronger competitive advantage, as both are among largest container companies in the world. The two companies will operate more than 400 vessels, with capacity exceeding 2.9 million TEUs including orderbook. The deal also sees COSCO becoming the world’s third largest container liner, according to Reuters.
It is noted that COSCO Shipping Lines and OOIL will continue to operate under their respective brands, providing container transport and logistic services. By leveraging the strengths of each company and achieving synergies, the businesses will enhance their operating efficiencies and competitive positions to achieve sustainable growth in the long term. Both companies are members of the Ocean Alliance, and will continue to work together under this framework.
The Joint Offerors intend to maintain OOIL’s listed status following close of the offer, to retaining the existing compensation and benefit system at OOIL. Therefore, they will not terminate the employment of any employee at OOIL for at least 24 months after the close of the offer.
They also aim “to maintain OOIL’s global headquarter functions and presence in Hong Kong, and utilize the advantage of both companies’ global network to contribute to the economic prosperity of the territory and development of Hong Kong as an international shipping center.”
The board of directors of OOIL has established an Independent Board Committee to advise the shareholders of OOIL in connection with the offer.