China Merchants Places Bid for London’s Baltic Exchange

State-owned corporation China Merchants Group became the latest applicant to buy London’s Baltic Exchange, according to sources cited by Reuters saying that the company made an informal bid for the business.

The group’s subsidiary, China Merchants Securities, made the informal offer for the business, considered to be the global shipping hub, which would provide the company with greater access to the shipping and commodities market.

China Merchants Group, with interest in ports, shipping and financial services, is the latest Chinese company that is taking an interest in European targets made favorable due to a current market downturn, Reuters writes.

However, the company has other competitors to worry about in the race, as other potential buyers, such as SGX and LME, ICE and Platts, are also interested in the Baltic Exchange, which is owned by some 380 shareholders.

The Baltic Exchange confirmed in February that it had received a number of “exploratory approaches” and that it was in confidential discussions with selected third parties.

“At this stage, no formal offer has been received, but when considering any approach the Board will first carefully consider the views and interests of all its stakeholders,” Baltic Exchange Chairman, Guy Campbell, said.

Reuters cited a Baltic spokesperson as saying that the exchange “hasn’t commented on the identity of anyone involved in the process”.

World Maritime News Staff

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