Responding to reports in the Wall Street Journal and the Chinese media that Cosco Shipping was readying a bid in excess of $4bn for OOCL, the parent company said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange: “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,” MANA correspondent reported.
Meanwhile Reuters quoted a Cosco Shipping spokeswoman as saying the rumours were "incorrect".
OOIL’s share price has surged more than 30% since the start of the year.
Following CMA CGM buying APL, the planned merger of the container businesses of NYK, MOL and K Line, Hapag-Lloyd moving to acquire UASC, Maersk Line buying Hamburg Sud, and the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping, OOCL was one of the few lines left in the mid-sized bracket with 2.8% of global capacity. Having been able to mostly retain profitability OOCL was viewed as an attractive option for consolidation.