MSC and HMM complete 100% takeover of Hanjin’s US West Coast port interests

Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) have completed their purchase of Hanjin Shipping’s 54% stake in Total Terminals International (TTI), the operator of two facilities in Long Beach, California and Seattle, Washington.

MSC subsidiary Terminal Investment Limited (TIL) cooperated with HMM to buy all of Hanjin’s equity and shareholder loans in both TTI and the associated terminal equipment leasing company, Hanjin TEC Inc. TIL has an 80% stake, while HMM owns the remainder.

Meanwhile, Hanjin’s financial problems in the US linger. According to documents filed on Monday with the US bankruptcy court in New Jersey, Hanjin has a further liability of $30.6m in the form of pension funds due to retired dockworkers in the port of New York and New Jersey.

Judge John Sherwood, who early this year approved the MSC deal, has ordered Hanjin’s US subsidiary to respond by February 6th to “questions seeking the identities of Hanjin’s controlled group.

All New York Shipping Association (NYSA) members pay into the International Longshoremen Association (ILA) pension pot. When Hanjin entered administration it withdrew from the NYSA, without asking in advance what its withdrawal liability would be. However, subsequent to its withdrawal, Hanjin did ask. NYSA president John Nardi said in an affidavit filed on Monday that the association had written to Hanjin in mid-October detailing its liability at $30.6m, but had heard nothing in return.

He said that on December 20th the NYSA had submitted further requests to Hanjin. Nardi stated that “in response, Hanjin sent emails to the (pension) fund’s co-counsel and to me, refusing to respond to the questions without a court order.”

Anne-Marie Flynn, a lawyer for the pension fund, said that “there has been no response to the fund’s controlled-group questions from Hanjin or its counsel, or Hanjin’s receiver or the receiver’s counsel.”