China Merchants Port Holdings has announced that it has reached an agreement to transfer its entire 24.53% equity share in China International Marine Container (CIMC) to China Merchants Industry Holdings for about HK$8.54bn (US$1.1bn).
The move is part of plan to consolidate the two offshore yard businesses, a plan which according to a source close to the matter the two have been working on for a long time.
Splash reported last year that China Merchants Group and CIMC were in talks to merge their offshore businesses.
Li Jianhong, who used to serve as chairman of both China Merchants Group and CIMC, quit CIMC in December 2015 to focus on China Merchants. Li has led a number of mergers and acquisition deals for China Merchants, including the takeover of state-run Sinotrans & CSC.
Li said in a government conference earlier this year that China Merchants Group will accelerate the process of mergers and acquisitions, in a response to the central government’s plan to reform state-owned enterprises.
The merger could create one of the largest offshore yard groups in the world. CIMC operates three offshore bases in Yantai, Longkou, and Haiyang in Shandong and China Merchants Industry runs two offshore yards in Shenzhen and Haimen.
When contacted by Splash, spokespeople at both China Merchants and CIMC declined to comment on the issue.