Hong Kong-listed shipper Orient Overseas International Ltd said on Friday it had not received any bids for its subsidiary OOCL, following media reports earlier in the week that China COSCO Shipping and others were circling with bids.
“The company wishes to clarify that the company and OOCL is not aware of, nor is it involved in any bid relating to the company or OOCL,” Orient said in a statement to the Hong Kong bourse, adding it had noted the reports about a “potential bid”.
Chinese business newspaper Caixin, citing sources, reported on Wednesday that China COSCO Shipping would participate in bidding for OOCL alongside Evergreen Marine Corp and France’s CMA CGM.
Shares in closely held Orient Overseas were down around 10 percent on Friday, after having risen strongly earlier in the week on news of the potential buyout.
China COSCO Shipping, CMA CGM, Evergreen and Orient are all part of the “Ocean Alliance” partnership, formed last year to take on the rival grouping of Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping.
Container shipping has seen consolidation and shake-up as the industry struggles to recover from a slump in freight rates linked to a glut of ships and slowing Chinese economic growth.