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Hanjin in talks to sell terminal stake to Mediterranean Shipping
[SINGAPORE] Hanjin Shipping Co, the South Korean container line under bankruptcy protection, is in talks to sell its stake in a terminal at Long Beach Port to Mediterranean Shipping Co as the indebted Asian company tries to raise funds for debt reduction.
Mediterranean Shipping has the first right to purchase Hanjin's 54 per cent holding, a spokesman at the Seoul Central District Court said by phone Friday. The European company owns the remaining stake in the terminal in California.
The Seoul court, which is overseeing Hanjin's bankruptcy, has set the ball rolling on selling the marketing network of the shipping company's Asia-US operations, almost two months after it filed for court receivership.
Hanjin, South Korea's biggest container line, fell victim to a global slump in trade that has depressed freight rates and led to losses, consolidation and job cuts among other shipping companies.
Under a restructuring plan announced in April, Hanjin had said it planned to raise 100 billion won (S$122.03 million) by using the Long Beach terminal stake as collateral to raise funds.
Shares of Hanjin gained as much as 6.4 per cent to 1,250 won and traded at 1,190 won as of 9.32am in Seoul. The stock has fallen 67 per cent this year, compared with a 3.6 per cent gain in South Korea's Kospi index.
Hanjin selected a sale arranger for the port-terminal stake, and Mediterranean Shipping, Hyundai Merchant Marine Co may show interest in it, YTN reported earlier Friday.
A Hyundai Merchant spokesman said the company was considering all options on Hanjin's potential asset sales.
Mediterranean Shipping is the world's second-biggest container line, behind AP Moeller-Maersk A/S.