In line with its original commitment Cosco Shipping will divest 15% of the shares in Orient Overseas (International) Ltd to ensure that the parent of Hong Kong’s iconic liner company maintains its Hong Kong listing. Cosco Shipping completed its US$6.3bn takeover of OOIL on 29 June.
The sale of 15.1% of the shares, priced at HK$78.67 (US$10.02) will be split between Crest Apex, a BVI-incorporated CK Hutchison investment Holding company set to receive 4.99% of OOIL’s shares; Hong Kong registered investment holding company, Rongshi International, an arm of a China state-owned investment holding firm will hold a 2.38% stake and; last but not least, PSD Investo will take 7.73% of the on-offer shares. PSDI is another state-owned vehicle registered in the Cayman Islands as a unit of the Silk Road Fund.
Following Cosco’s divestment the percentage of publicly floated shares will remain above the regulatory limit of 25% as promised after the initial sale.
Cosco cautioned there is a possibility that the public will hold less than 25% of OOIL Shares upon closing of the Offer depending on the level of acceptance. In that case, the Joint Offerors intend to take appropriate steps to restore the public float in compliance with the Listing Rules.
“The entry of the Crest Apex Sale and Purchase Agreement demonstrates the parties’ long term commitments to deepening of future commercial ties, which is also consistent with the PRC’s “Belt and Road” initiative, as CK Hutchison operates a number of ports along the “Belt and Road” initiative route,” Cosco said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
“This can foster stronger cooperation between Cosco Shipping and CK Hutchison in developing existing co-invested ports assets, through optimizing operating efficiencies, to achieve increase in investment returns.
“Further, increased collaboration between the ports and shipping businesses of the two groups will allow further synergies to be achieved, delivering benefits to both parties in the long run,” Cosco added.