Chinese shipping giant Cosco Shipping Holdings has revealed a huge new investment in a unit of state agricultural conglomerate Cofco.

The Hong Kong-listed shipowner said in a stock exchange filing that it had agreed to pay CNY 5.5bn ($814m) for a 5.8% stake in Cofco Fortune, a food processing and logistics company.

Cosco said the deal is part of a capital increase plan at Cofco Fortune.

Parent Cofco will retain a 69.8% stake in its subsidiary, down from 89.7% previously.

Cosco Shipping Holdings is a listed arm of state shipowner China Cosco Shipping.

The company said it and Cofco Fortune would now explore operations involving container yards, warehouses and terminals.

Other investors subscribing to the capital raise included the management council of China’s basic pension insurance fund and the asset management arm of China Life Insurance.

Houke Fulin, a fund linked to private equity firm Hopu Investments, also participated, the filing said.

In 2021, Cofco Fortune entered what is known as a “tutoring” phase ahead of a planned initial public offering (IPO) in China.

This involves bankers coaching company executives on IPO-related issues.

Cosco Shipping Holdings already has port interests, as well as a fleet of 174 ships, with another 44 on order.

The company specialises in giant container ships of up to 24,000 teu, and owns Hong Kong line OOCL.

It also has a handful of general cargo vessels and multipurpose vessels.