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COSCO Finalizes OOCL Deal

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COSCO’s takeover of OOCL has been approved by Chinese anti-trust authorities a day earlier than the intended deadline of June 30, according to Tradewinds.

By merging with OOCL, COSCO’s new combined fleet of around 400 vessels will manage an annual capacity of more than 2.7 million TEU, which, according to shipping analyst Alphaliner’s data, will push it ahead of CMA CGM to make it the third largest ocean carrier in the world.

The merger’s impact on container shipping competition has concerned analysts as the top six ocean carriers’ market share will swell to over 60%.

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China-US trade war fears and the merger’s regulatory approval have negatively impacted OOCL’s stock value.

It was predicted that COSCO could have faced large fines if it had fallen short of the merger’s agreed deadline.

An Alphaliner newsletter in April stated: “OOIL will receive a break fee of $253 million if COSCO fails to complete the deal by the deadline, but the fee would be waived if the transaction 'failed to meet the requirements of CFIUS', even though the CFIUS clearance was not listed as one of the five pre-conditions for the offer from COSCO.”

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