Korea Line Wins Bid for Hanjin Assets
Korea Line Corp., South Korea’s second-largest bulk carrier, won a bid to buy the Asia-U.S. business of the bankrupt Hanjin Shipping Company, in a sale supervized by a South Korean court.
The sale was finalized on November 21.
Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., thought to be the favorite to take over the assets, lost out in the bidding.
Korea Line is reported to have beaten the industry giant by offering more favourable terms. Among the reported terms was Korea Line’s taking on all Hanjin employees in the service as well as acquisting Hanjin’s 54-percent interest in a terminal at the port of Long Beach, California
The sale was the first of Hanjin assets, beginning the process of the company’s liquidation. Hanjin filed for court receivership on August 31, 2016, after weak demand and depressed freight rates caused the carrier to pile up A reported $5 billion in debt. Attempts to restructure the debt with the carrier’s creditors were not successful.
Korea Line’s successful bid marks its first container-shipping service.
Korea Line itself fell on tough financial times a few years ago and only left bankruptcy protection in late 2013. However the company is now expanding.
Korea Line, which is number two to Pan Ocean Co. among South Korean bulk-shipping companies, was acquired by Samra Midas Group after it exited bankruptcy. The carrier operates 29 vessels which haul goods such as iron ore, crude oil, and automobiles.
On November 14, Hanjin reported a third-quarter loss of $263 million. Hyundai Merchant Marine posted an operating loss of $200 million.