- Bankrupt Hanjin has received two final bids for its Asia-U.S. route and its 54% ownership in the Long Beach terminal, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
- Hyundai Merchant, South Korea’s largest shipping line, and Korea Line, a smaller operator, have both submitted proposals to acquire Hanjin’s trans-Pacific assets.
- A Seoul Judge confirmed the two bids. He said the court plans to choose a preferred buyer by Monday and sign a formal contract by Nov. 21.
The sale of Hanjin assets has aroused both curiosity and interest since the South Korean shipping line's declaration of bankruptcy on August 31.
While the liquidation takes effect, the value of the five vessels and other assets being sold is unclear. American Shipper estimates up to $29.4 billion in total value may be reached.
Judges in Seoul who are overseeing the case have previously expressed the view that their preference is for Hanjin to go to Hyundai Merchant Marine. However, Korea Line, which operates dry bulk vessels on dedicated routes and on a tramping basis, as well as product tankers and gas carriers, both of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), has made an offer appealing enough to remain under consideration.
The announcement also rejects the Mediterranean Shipping Company's bid, which owns the rest of the stake in Hanjin's West Coast terminals, for the Korean shipper's assets. Regardless, if Hyundai wins out on the bid, MSC may still benefit from its potential alliance partners' increased capacity.