- Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) retracted its shared bid with the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) for the Port of Long Beach, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
- The Korean line announced it intends to buy a smaller stake in the port at an unspecified later date.
- HMM said it withdrew because it did not want to impede MSC as a result of its poor credit rating. MSC already owns 46% of the Port, and is seeking to buy the remaining 54% from bankrupt Hanjin.
Poor credit ratings has left HMM hanging by a thread in an adverse, post-Hanjin world.
Even though South Korea reportedly chose HMM to weather the weak global markets and revive the nation's shipping industry, the company has consistently failed to secure the assets and partnerships necessary to succeed in the rapidly changing sector.
First, the company lost a bid for Hanjin's remaining assets due to a low offer. Then, HMM could not affiliate fully with the 2M alliance, and instead settled for a slot exchange deal. Now, 2M customers are reportedly protesting the agreement and objecting to plans to ship via HMM-owned ships, for fear of another bankruptcy.
However hopeful the company's executives appear, dropping the bid for the Port of Long Beach is only the latest drop in what appears to be an ever-growing list of roadblocks to the line's revival.