PIL seen as next takeover target after OOCL

Pacific International Lines (PIL) is the next most likely takeover target in the fast-consolidating container shipping industry, according to Alphaliner. Its niche position, in particular, on Africa-related trades, could make the carrier an attractive target for buyers keen on securing access to this emerging market.

PIL, which is controlled by the Chang Teo family, posted a significant net loss in 2016, due to “very low freight rates and a one-off bunker hedging loss” in the first half of the year. The company carries a total debt of more than $2.6 billion.
PIL has a close strategic alliance with Cosco on the west and east Africa trades in 2016 and earlier this year signed a vessel sharing deal with Cosco and Wan Hai on the trans-Pacific trade.

The carrier is due to take on the first of 12 new Chinese-built and financially-backed 11,800-TEU ships later this year and is expected to “rely heavily” on Cosco to find work for the new vessels, which are targeted at the trans-Pacific trades, including a planned entry into the US East Coast market in 2018.