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Domestic Shipping
Cosco clears last hurdle in OOIL takeover as US gives approval
Date:2018-09-17 Readers:

COSCO Shipping Holdings says it has the long awaited approval from US regulators of its US$6.3 billion acquisition of Hong Kong's Orient Overseas International Ltd (OOIL) the parent of its principal holding Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), Reuters reports.

While the US Committee on Foreign Investment has no specific jurisdiction over the takeover of one Chinese company by another, the United States is free to forbid such a company to trade with in United States ports.

Cosco said on June 30 that all pre-conditions for the OOIL offer made last year had been met after receiving approval by the Chinese anti-monopoly regulator. It already has approvals from European and United States anti-monopoly regulators.

In a regulatory filing, Cosco said the US Committee on Foreign Investment had notified it that it does not have any outstanding security issues following an agreement with the US government to divest the Long Beach container terminal business to a third party. 

Cosco said ownership of the container terminal business will be transferred to a trust while a buyer is sought.There had been concerns the trade fight between Beijing and Washington might end up hampering major deals by US or Chinese firms seeking regulatory approval.

Cosco acquisition of OOIL will see the Chinese shipping giant become the world third-largest container shipping line.
The deal is the latest in a wave of mergers and acquisitions in global container shipping that has left the top six shipping lines controlling 63 per cent of the market and comes at a time when the industry is experiencing a recovery after a lengthy downturn.

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