The move by Korea Line to buy bankrupt Hanjin Shipping’s Asia – US container line business, that sees the company taking the plunge into the container trade at a very difficult time, is a head scratching one.
Korea Line is paying $31.4m for the business, which includes the routes, customer information and operations in seven countries, including US, China and Vietnam, as well as some 574 employees from Hanjin. It does not, however, include five 6,500 containerships from Hanjin or its stake in a Long Beach container terminal in the US, which Korea Line has an option to buy.
Korea Line apparently outbid Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) for the business, which was put up for sale by the Seoul bankruptcy court last month. While While Hanjin clearly needs as much money it can get to pay off its debts, HMM, despite its own travails, would have been a more logical choice in...Read more...