Hong Kong – Paul Hastings, a leading global law firm, announced today that it represented COSCO SHIPPING Holdings Co., Ltd. (“COSCO SHIPPING Holdings”), in a voluntary general cash offer for all of the issued shares of Orient Overseas (International) Limited ("Orient Overseas”) made by the wholly-owned subsidiaries of COSCO SHIPPING Holdings and Shanghai International Port (Group) Co., Ltd. for a total value of up to US$6.3 billion pursuant to the Hong Kong Takeovers Code (the “Transaction”). This Transaction also constitutes a very substantial acquisition of COSCO SHIPPING Holdings under the Hong Kong Listing Rules. COSCO SHIPPING Holdings is the world’s fourth largest container shipping company and Orient Overseas is the world’s seventh largest container shipping company.
The acquisition marks the latest consolidation in the global maritime industry and one of the largest M&A deals globally so far this year. The combined entity will become the world's third largest container liner. The acquisition will strengthen COSCO SHIPPING Holdings’ position in the global container shipping industry by creating synergies through optimization of shipping network and capacity, optimization of cost structure and integration of container fleet.
The shares of COSCO SHIPPING Holdings are listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and the shares of Orient Overseas are listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. COSCO SHIPPING Holdings will finance its consideration for the Transaction through external debt financing, and the Transaction is subject to certain pre-conditions, including various regulatory reviews and approvals and shareholder approval of COSCO SHIPPING Holdings.
The acquisition marks another important milestone in the growth of Paul Hastings’ practice in cross-border and outbound complex M&A transactions. Paul Hastings has demonstrated significant strength over the years in acting as international deal counsel for buyers in significant and complex M&A transactions, including acting for WH Group (formerly known as Shuanghui International) on its acquisition of Smithfield Foods in 2013 and acting for COSCO (Hong Kong) Group Limited on its acquisition of Piraeus Port Authority SA in 2016.
The Paul Hastings team on the transaction was led by Raymond Li, partner and Chair of Greater China, with support from May Lun, Crystal Liu, Fang Pei, Vivian Lam, James Ma and Jeff Lee in Hong Kong; Sophie Han in Shanghai; Scott Flicker, Tara Giunta and Charles Patrizia in Washington D.C.; Pierre Kirch and Josephine Fourquet in Brussels and Paris; and Ronan O’Sullivan in London.
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