Consortium Formed to Invest in China Shipbuilding

Wednesday, October 12, 2005
At the invitation of China Steel Corp. (CSC) and Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp., Wan Hai Lines Ltd. has shown its willingness to enter into a consortium led by CSC to invest in the state-run China Shipbuilding Corp., which has decided to go private through public bidding, according to a report on Taiwan Headlines.

China Shipbuilding estimated it would sell a 51 percent up to 66 percent stake to become a privately owned firm. Potential buyers of the China Shipbuilding shares include Evergreen Marine Corp., Taiwan Navigation Co., Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp., Yung Chi Paint & Varnish Mfg. Co., Kuang Tai Co., Wan Hai Lines Ltd., China Steel Corp., MPH, BAE of the U.S., Mitsubishi of Japan, and Hyundai of South Korea.

The CSC-led consortium will also contain China Shipbuilding's downstream firms, such as Yung Chi Paint & Varnish Mfg. Co. If everything goes smoothly, China Shipbuilding will have a new management team comprised of its downstream firms and its two-largest clients-Yang Ming and Wan Hai.

Yang Ming has contracted China Shipbuilding to build 22 vessels that will be delivered by the end of 2009; Wan Hai currently has 10 vessels under construction by China Shipbuilding that will be delivered by the end of 2008. Wan Hai chairman Chen Chao-heng said his company would give first priority to participating in the CSC-led consortium, rather than in another group led by the MPH Group of the U.S. China Shipbuilding's net worth currently stands at $145.45 million, with a capitalization of $336.36 million.

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