Splitting Zim into 2 units seen as way to relieve financial stress
THE Israeli government and trade unions have reportedly accepted proposals from Israel Corporation to split Zim Integrated Shipping into two units, one foreign, the other regional, according to London's Containerisation International. Saturday, 28.Jan.2012, 11:47 (GMT+3)
THE Israeli government and trade unions have reportedly accepted proposals from Israel Corporation to split Zim Integrated Shipping into two units, one foreign, the other regional, according to London's Containerisation International.
The Israeli Government's approval is necessary as Zim Line is considered a strategic asset by the state and it possesses a "golden share", which was retained when it sold its remaining 48.6 per cent to Israel Corporation in 2004.
The separation of Zim International is deemed desirable as past exploratory talks with outside interests to raise fresh capital were hindered by foreign banks which were uncomfortable with the government's golden share conditions, said CI.
In 2008, Zim Line was reportedly interested in raising US$500 million on the Hong Kong stock exchange. There was another story that it planned to float 25 per cent of Zim Line, but was dissuaded from proceeding by the global downturn.
It is not yet clear how outside interests could be invited to participate in Zim International once split from the company's local interests. But who would retain control of the company afterwards given the Israeli government involvement?
For the moment, there appears to be little urgency as Zim Line has a small order book, and the delivery of its nine 12,552TEUers has been put back to 2015, though an outside investor is reportedly needed to effect deliveries.
Zim Line's recently reported failure to meet its loan covenants is said to be no different than most other ocean carriers declaring losses, according to CI.