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COSCO’s Highly Complex Restructuring with China Shipping

Hong Kong - Paul Hastings, a leading global law firm, announced today that the firm is representing state-owned shipping giant China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (“COSCO”), China COSCO Holdings Company Limited (“China COSCO”) and its associated companies in the landmark restructuring involving both COSCO and China Shipping Group (“China Shipping”), comprising a series of asset acquisitions and disposals among COSCO, China Shipping and their respective subsidiaries. The restructuring represents a substantial reconfiguration of two of China’s leading state-owned enterprises which, on a combined basis, will become the world’s fourth largest container-shipping company.

The highly complex deal involves assets shifting in five key businesses: container-shipping, dry-bulk shipping, port operation, container leasing and oil shipping, as well as more than 70 asset transactions, and would see China COSCO account for approximately 8% of the global container-shipping capacity. COSCO Pacific (a subsidiary of China COSCO) would operate and manage, by controlling shareholding and non-controlling shareholding, 172 berths at 39 ports worldwide.

Paul Hastings also utilized its experienced, multi-jurisdictional and industry-recognized anti-trust team to advise on overseas anti-trust issues envisaged by the restructuring and provided analysis from various aspects.

Raymond Li, partner and Chair of Greater China, commented: “We are delighted to have a lead role advising on this landmark and complex restructuring deal at an exciting time when China seeks to restructure several of its state-owned enterprises. We advised China COSCO on its US$1.2 billion Hong Kong IPO and global offering and on several of the Company’s key transactions over the years, including China COSCO’s US$601 million share placement and COSCO Finance’s (a subsidiary of China COSCO) US$1 billion bond issuance. China COSCO is an important client to Paul Hastings and we look forward to working with them as they further navigate new paths to growth”.

The restructuring, initially approved by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) in December 2015, received shareholder approval on 1 February 2016. The deal is part of the ongoing restructuring of state-owned enterprises by the Chinese government aiming to maximize Chinese companies’ ability to compete overseas.

The Paul Hastings team is being led by Raymond Li, partner and Chair of Greater China, and partners Li Nan, Pei Fang and Edwin Kwok, with support from of counsel James Ma, associates Bonnie Kong, May Lun, Crystal Liu, Eva Gao, Jeff Lee and Chester Hui, China associate Stern Liu and paralegal Chuqi Chen.

 

 

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