World Economy

Hanjin Shipping Gets Five Bids

Hanjin Shipping Gets Five BidsHanjin Shipping Gets Five Bids

Hanjin Shipping Co. received five initial bids for its Asia-US business as a South Korean court kicked off the process to sell the nation’s largest container line that fell victim to excess capacity and slowing global trade.

Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., Korea Shipping Association, Korea Line Corp. and private equity firm Hahn & Co. were among those that have expressed interest, according to the companies, while the Seoul Central District Court, overseeing the receivership, declined to disclose the fifth bidder, Bloomberg reported.

The submissions will be followed by a due diligence of the assets, which include offices and vessels that operate on the trans-Pacific trade. Final bids are due by Nov. 7.

The process heralds the beginning of the end of Hanjin, which filed for bankruptcy protection late August after creditors balked, setting off disruptions in supply chains around the world. Hanjin Shipping, once the world’s seventh largest container line, this week said it’s winding down its Europe route.

“The real issue will be the price and how one evaluates intangible assets,” said Ma Ji-hwang, a senior researcher at Hana Institute of Finance in Seoul. “That’s why the due diligence process will be important to shed light on what assets will be available in the sale. The Asia-US shipping operation is pretty much what’s going to be left of Hanjin.”

A decision on the winning bid is due later next month. The South Korean company, whose market value is about 196 billion won ($171 million), is also in talks to sell its 54% stake in the Long Beach port container terminal, according to the Seoul court.


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