Hutchison Whampoa

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Hutchison Whampoa
Founded1863; 159 years ago (1863)
FounderJohn Duflon Hutchison
Defunct3 June 2015 (2015-06-03)
FateAcquired by and merged with Cheung Kong Holdings
SuccessorCK Hutchison Holdings
HeadquartersCentral, Hong Kong
Key people
Sir Li Ka-shing (Ex-chairman)
ProductsPorts and related services; property and hotels; retail; energy; infrastructure; telecommunications, finance & investment
RevenueUS$54.035 billion (2014)
HK$56.01 billion (US$7.2 billion) (2011)
Number of employees
253,983 (2011)
Hutchison Whampoa
Traditional Chinese和記黃埔
Simplified Chinese和记黄埔

Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL) was an investment holding company based in Hong Kong. It was a Fortune Global 500 company and one of the largest companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. HWL was an international corporation with a diverse array of holdings which included the world's biggest port, and telecommunication operations in 14 countries that were run under the 3 brand. Its businesses also included retail, property development and infrastructure.

It was 49.97% owned by the Cheung Kong Group until 3 June 2015, when the company merged with the Cheung Kong Group as part of a major reorganisation of the group's businesses. The combined business was renamed CK Hutchison Holdings Limited.


Hutchison Whampoa originated as two separate companies, both founded in the 19th century. Hong Kong and Whampoa Dock was established in 1863, by British merchant John Duflon Hutchison,[clarification needed] and Hutchison International was formed in 1877.[1][non-primary source needed]

In the 1960s, Hutchison International – under Colonel Sir Douglas Clague (1917–1981) – gained a controlling interest of Hong Kong and Whampoa Dock,[2] and in 1977 Hutchison acquired all of that company, creating Hutchison Whampoa Limited.

Although Hutchison Whampoa had a large portfolio of valuable real estate interests, in docks and retail ventures, the company eventually ran into trouble. It was rescued by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, with HSBC taking a 22% stake in the company and ensuring that Clague was replaced.[3]

On 25 September 1979, at the close of trade in London, HSBC announced that it was selling its stake in Hutchison Whampoa to Cheung Kong for HK$639 million.[3]

In March 2011, Hutchison Port Holdings Trust (HPHT) announced that the company would IPO through Singapore Exchange for about US$5.4 billion. This would be the largest offering in South East Asia and surpass Petronas Chemicals' offering of about $4.1 billion.[4]

In January 2015, Li Ka-shing entered into talks with Telefónica to buy its British mobile division O2 for around $15.4 billion[5] but the deal was blocked in 2016 by the EU's Competition Commissioner.[6]

In January 2015, Li Ka Shing confirmed plans for Cheung Kong Holdings to purchase the remaining shares in Hutchison Whampoa that it did not already own, and merge the two companies as CK Hutchison Holdings. The merger is part of a larger reorganisation of Li's businesses, which will involve the spin-off of property assets into Cheung Kong Property.[7] The new holding company has been incorporated in the Cayman Islands, rather than Hong Kong.[8]

In May 2015, Hutchison revealed plans to sell one-third of its stake in its British-based mobile phone businesses for a potential fee of $4.3 billion to five investors including GIC Private Limited, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, BTG Pactual and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.[9]


HWL operated in 54 countries and employed around 230,000 staff worldwide. The company had six core businesses, most of which transferred to CK Hutchison:

Ports and related services[edit]

Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) operates across Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. It operates in five of the seven busiest container ports in the world, handling 13% of the world's container traffic. Hutchison Whampoa operates container terminals in Panama, as well as Mexico and other parts of the Americas.

Property and hotels[edit]

From office buildings in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, to luxury residential properties in the United Kingdom, Hutchison Whampoa Property develops and invests in real estate. Together with Cheung Kong Holdings, HWL has set up a joint-venture company, Harbour Plaza Hotel Management to operate and manage hotels under the portfolio of the Hutchison Property division.


A.S. Watson Group (ASW), HWL's retail arm, operates its flagship retail chains in Asia such as Watsons, ParknShop supermarket, TASTE food galleria, GOURMET boutique style fine food hall, GREAT Food Hall, Fortress electrical appliances store, Watson's Wine Cellar and Nuance-Watson duty-free operator. In Europe, ASW's retail network comprises health and beauty chains: DC, Drogas, Kruidvat, Rossmann, Savers Health & Beauty, Superdrug, Trekpleister, Spektr and Watson's, as well as luxury perfumeries and cosmetics retail brands: Marionnaud, ICI Paris XL and The Perfume Shop. A.S. Watson is the world's largest health and beauty retailer.


Cheung Kong Infrastructure (CKI), HWL's infrastructure arm, is a diversified infrastructure company with businesses in transportation, energy, infrastructure materials, water plants and related operations.


HWL was a major shareholder of Husky Energy, one of Canada's largest energy and energy related companies, holding 33.97%.


HWL owned[clarification needed] the "3" brand. It also owns 60.4%[10] of Hutchison Asia Telecommunications (HAT), which provides mobile phone networks and data services in Asia. The company's subsidiary 3 Group Europe owns its '3' branded businesses in Europe. Another 1% of HAT is owned directly by Cheung Kong Holdings, the holding behind Cheung Kong group to which HWL belongs. Additionally, HWL is an official backer of the .mobi top level domain created specifically for the mobile internet and has launched the mobile portal under its "3" brand.[11][12] Hutchison Whampoa attempted to purchase O2 for £10.25 billion in March 2015,[13] but the European Commission blocked the acquisition in May 2016.[14]


Hutchison Whampoa has received criticism from charities such as the Burma Campaign UK and appear on the charity's 'dirty list' for their involvement in trade with the military junta in Burma. They state that the company's subsidiary Myanmar International Terminals Thilawa (MITT) is "strategically positioned to facilitate and service Myanmar's international trade"[15] and are concerned about the role foreign investment plays in "perpetuating" the country's brutal regime.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hutchison-Whampoa: Milestones 1828–1959". Archived from the original on 24 June 2007. Retrieved 30 June 2007.
  2. ^ "Hutchison-Whampoa: Milestones 1960–1969". Archived from the original on 30 June 2007. Retrieved 30 June 2007.
  3. ^ a b Stephen Vines, The Other Handover, Time magazine, 6 August 2005
  4. ^ Lau, Fiona. "Hutchison ports unit prices $5.4 billion Singapore IPO: sources".
  5. ^ "Li Ka-shing in talks to buy O2 for £10bn". BBC News. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  6. ^ "EU blocks Three's takeover of O2". BBC News: Business. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  7. ^ Yun, Michelle; Chan, Vinicy (9 January 2015). "Cheung Kong to Buy Out Hutchison in $24 Billion Restructuring". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  8. ^ Sito, Peggy; Li, Sandy (25 February 2015). "Li Ka-shing's two firms set for merger as Cheung Kong shareholders approve revamp". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  9. ^ Elzio Barreto (7 May 2015). "Hutchison to sell one-third stake in UK mobile unit for $4.3 bln". Reuters. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Hutchison Whampoa Limited 2009 Interim Report" (PDF). Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  11. ^ "Mobile and Web Services - Afilias". Archived from the original on 20 August 2007. Retrieved 12 September 2007.
  12. ^ "three – 3 the company". Archived from the original on 27 August 2007. Retrieved 12 September 2007.
  13. ^ "Telefonica finalises £10bn sale of O2 mobile phone firm". BBC News. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  14. ^ "Mergers: Commission prohibits Hutchison's proposed acquisition of Telefonica UK – Factsheet". European Commission. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  15. ^ [1] Archived 16 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Dirty List – Campaigns – Burma Campaign UK Archived 15 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 18 September 2013.

External links[edit]