SK Group plans to quit shipping

South Korean chaebol SK Group is planning to leave the shipping sector through a sale of shipping subsidiary SK Shipping Co, reported Pulse. It was understood that the decision to sell was a result of the subsidiary’s debt burden and little sign that this could be reduced in the short term.

Local private equity firm Hahn & Co was put forward as the prospective buyer, at a price of about KRW1.5trn($1.3bn).

SK Group confirmed that it was talking to Hahn & Co but said that nothing had yet been finalized.

Local media had reported that worsening financial conditions of the unit and the governmental regulations on intra-affiliate transactions by large business groups led to the decision.

SK Shipping, founded in 1982 as Yukong Shipping, was in the mid-2000s South Korea’s fourth-largest container shipper, behind only Hanjin Shipping, Hyundai Merchant Marine and STX Pan Ocean.