South Korean Bankruptcy Court To Put Select Hanjin Assets Up For Sale
Hanjin’s sales and marketing network for its Asia-U.S. route is set to go on the auction block. The South Korean court that is handling the shipping giant’s bankruptcy proceedings announced the sale to raise funds for company’s debtors. The court previously indicated that it was considering selling the entire company. At the end of June, Hanjin was $5.3 billion in debt.
The sale, which may begin accepting bids as early as Friday, is expected to include subsidiaries involved in its Asia-U.S. cargo business as well as some container ships. Of the 97 ships operated by Hanjin, 60 are leased and 37 are owned by the company. Hyundai Merchant Marine, Hanjin’s largest domestic competitor, is the first company to take a look at acquiring some or all of the vessels, and may do so with South Korean government backing.
Hanjin’s bankruptcy has frozen ships and containers in limbo. The world’s seventh-largest container shipping line—representing about eight percent of the trans-Pacific trade to the U.S.—stopped accepting new cargos, and its ships faced difficulties in offloading over payment concerns.
In September, PPAI joined 119 trade associations in a letter urging the Department of Commerce to resolve the Hanjin bankruptcy situation. Written by the National Retail Federation, the letter encourages Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to continue to work with the South Korean government on a swift and economically positive resolution to the situation.