Five bids for Hanjin’s Asia-US business

Korea’s Hanjin Shipping has received five initial bids for its Asia-U.S. business:

Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM); Korea Shipping Association (KSA), Korea Line Corp, and private equity firm Hahn & Co have all said that they are interested in a deal. The fifth bidder is as yet unidentified. Final bids are due by November 7th, with a decision on the successful bidder scheduled to be made before the end of November.

“The real issue will be the price and how one evaluates intangible assets,” Ma Ji-hwang, a senior researcher at Hana Institute of Finance in Seoul, told Bloomberg.

The Korean government has said that HMM will serve as the national flag carrier for the country’s exports. HMM said that it was considering various measures, including a purchase of Hanjin’s assets and manpower. “We hope Hanjin assets will help enhance our competitiveness on major routes,” HMM said.

Hanjin carried 1.85m TEUs on the Asia-US route in 2015.

Of the 97 container vessels it operated, unloading of cargo from 82 ships has been completed by October 26th. The company has been returning chartered vessels to owners as soon as they are unloaded.