UK blocks Chinese aerospace sale, U.S. allows COSCO's acquisition of Orient Overseas
Staff Writer |
UK private equity firm Better Capital PCC’s sale of airplane parts firm Northern Aerospace to a Chinese buyer has fallen through after regulators did not issue approval following a probe into national security concerns.
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The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation last month into the 44 million pound sale of the company to a unit of China’s Shaanxi Ligeance Mineral Resources Co. (000697.SZ), issuing a notice halting the disposal.
That followed a formal intervention by the British Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy under rules allowing it to take action on national security grounds.
Better Capital said Northern Aerospace had clearly demonstrated that there were no competition issues in the deal and that all matters raised by the Ministry of Defence had been satisfactorily dealt with.
“NAL and (Better Capital-unit) the GP have been advised that there are national security issues but neither has any knowledge of their nature and both remain ignorant as to how the disposal of NAL could give rise to any transaction-specific concern,” the company said.
China’s COSCO Shipping Holdings said on Sunday a key U.S. review body has cleared its planned $6.3 billion acquisition of shipping firm Orient Overseas International on security issues.
COSCO said on June 30 that all pre-conditions for the OOIL offer made last year had been met after receiving approval by the Chinese anti-monopoly regulator. It already has approvals from European and United States anti-monopoly regulators.
In a regulatory filing on Sunday the company said the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States had notified it that it does not have any outstanding security issues following an agreement with the U.S. government to divest the Long Beach container terminal business to a third party.
COSCO said ownership of the container terminal business will be transferred to a trust while a buyer is sought. ■