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Cosco Shipping selling HK$7.4b worth of OOIL shares to restore public float

Hong Kong

COSCO Shipping Holdings Co Ltd plans to sell HK$7.43 billion (S$1.29 billion) worth of Orient Overseas International Ltd (OOIL) shares to CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd and others, in a move to restore the required public float of OOIL.

Last week, Cosco Shipping said all pre-conditions for the offer to buy OOIL had been satisfied after receiving a decision from China's anti-monopoly watchdog "not to prohibit" the planned takeover.

The Chinese shipping group said that it would sell up to 94.49 million OOIL shares, or 15.1 per cent of the issued share capital of the container transport firm, at HK$78.67 apiece, in a deal which will only take place if the public float of OOIL falls below 25 per cent.

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CK Hutchison will buy 4.99 per cent of the issued share capital of OOIL, State Development & Investment Corp Ltd will acquire 2.38 per cent, and Silk Road Fund will take 7.73 per cent.

Cosco Shipping said proceeds will be used to replenish working capital. REUTERS