EVERGREEN Marine Corp (EMC), the listed arm of the Taiwan group, last week acquired its privately owned affiliate Evergreen Marine (Singapore) (EMS) for US$780 million as it prepares to consolidate the container shipping assets.
The move is said to have been brought about by the power struggle among the four sons of the late Evergreen founder, Chang Yung-fa, which if it continues, could lead to the group being broken up, reports London's Loadstar.
Evergreen's owned fleet stands at 952,000 TEU, while it has 88 ships of around 457,000 TEU on order. EMC owns 53 per cent of that fleet and, according to Linerlytica, its funds were used to buy EMS's assets of 19 vessels, built between 1996 and 2015, with total capacity of around 137,000 TEU and 14 per cent of the group's fleet. EMC subsidiary Evergreen Marine (Asia) has bought nine ships from EMS for $798.7 million; this amounts to 13 per cent of the group-owned ships.
The eldest of the four brothers, Chang Kuo-hua, is a member of EMC's board and has been fighting with his brothers for control of the group since their father died in 2016. Youngest brother Chang Kuo-Wei was chairman of the group's airline, EVA Airways, but was ousted by his brothers. He went on to found Starlux Airlines, but is thought to retain shares in Panama-incorporated Evergreen International Corp (EIC), which has a 4.96 per cent stake in EMC. With his brothers, Kuo-Hua, Kuo-Ming and Kuo-Cheng, he also inherited shares in EVA Airways and hotels in Taiwan, China, Paris and Bangkok.
The first three sons were by the late Dr Chang's first wife, while Chang Kuo-wei was with his second wife. The late founder reportedly left his fortune and business empire to his youngest son in a handwritten will, sparking the legal battle with the other sons.source