HONG KONG-Listed Orient Overseas (International) Ltd is to launch the sale process of its container terminal in the US west coast port of Long Beach, California in December in a deal that is expected to far exceed the company's US$2.4 billion sale of its terminals on the US east coast and in Vancouver, Canada in 2006.
OOCL, the container shipping line of parent OOIL, agreed to a 40-year, $4.6 billion lease for the Middle Harbour terminal in Long Beach in 2012.
"Terminal giants will follow the sales process when it starts next month but it will be pension funds, investment companies etc. who will make the investment," a financial adviser with knowledge of the deal said.
The incumbent management team is expected to be kept on by the new owner, the financial advisor said, whose sentiments were backed by APM Terminals' Asia Pacific head Tim Smith.
"[There is] no APM Terminal interest in OOCL's Long Beach terminal. We already have all that we need at our existing Pier 400 terminal," Mr Smith said.
OOCL agreed to sell its Long Beach terminal while the US government's Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) was reviewing OOIL's $6.3 billion takeover by mainland China's Cosco Shipping Holdings earlier this year.
Cosco signed a national security agreement with the United States on July 6 agreeing to sell the Long Beach facility.
Canada's Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP), which agreed to pay OOIL $2.4 billion to acquire four OOCL terminals in New York, New Jersey and Vancouver in November 2006, would not comment on whether it was interested in acquiring the Long Beach terminal, reported IHS Media.
OTPP, which has an office in Hong Kong, is one of the world's largest institutional investors with total assets of CAD189.5 billion ($144.1 billion).
OOCL's subsidiary, Long Beach Container Terminal is operating the Middle Harbour facility. The first two phases opened in 2016 although overall completion of the terminal, which is being built by the port of Long Beach, is not expected until 2020 when it will cover 306 acres and have a capacity to handle 3.3 million TEU.