Media speculation around Cosco’s acquisition of Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) is “unsubstantiated” and if true would still be “far from certain to go through”, according to Alphaliner.
Orient Overseas International Limited (OOIL), OOCL's parent company, has strongly denied rumors that have circulated since January this year.
Alphaliner has said that any bid for or OOCL would require immediate disclosure to ensure that any news leaks would not affect the share price and jeopardise a potential deal.
Much of the speculation has come from Cosco’s restructuring, but Alphaliner has reported that it is because of an internal re-organisation that is unrelated to OOCL.
Cosco’s growth is more likely to come from a new shipbuilding program comprising 34 new ships of 9,000-20,000 TEU that would cost over $4.2bn in total.
If Cosco and OOCL were to become one, it would knock CMA CGM down in the league tables and create the third largest container shipping company in the world, with more than 2.4 million TEU and a market share of 11.5%.
The two companies are in the Ocean Alliance shipping partnership, which means that they are already benefitting from using space on shared vessels.
Alphaliner stated: “Despite some media reporting that a Cosco-OOCL deal could be announced on 1 July, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China, the date passed with little fanfare.”