Cosco Eyes Hanjin Terminals After $738 Million Abu Dhabi Deal

  • Like to study possibility if put on the table: Chairman Xu
  • Xu Lirong says Cosco has no plans to buy Hanjin’s ships

A worker stands as containers sit stacked on the Hanjin Gdynia cargo ship berthed at the Port of Long Beach in Long Beach, Calif.

Photographer: Tim Rue/Bloomberg

China Cosco Shipping Corp., owner of Asia’s biggest container-shipping company, said it could consider buying some container-terminal assets of the troubled Hanjin Shipping Co. after agreeing to spend $738 million on a new port in Abu Dhabi.

"We would like to study if it’s put on the table and if there’s a willingness to sell" on Hanjin’s part, Chairman Xu Lirong said in Shanghai late Wednesday. "So far, it’s not on the agenda."

Buying Hanjin’s terminal assets in the Port of Long Beach California will help Cosco widen its footprint after China’s government merged its key shipping companies last year to help them expand internationally. The Seoul court overseeing the bankruptcy-protection of Hanjin said Wednesday that it’s considering a sale of the entire company. Xu said Cosco has no plans to buy the Korean liner’s vessels.

Besides the terminal in California, Hanjin also has two other facilities in South Korea.

For the latest story on Hanjin’s sale, click here.

China last year merged China Ocean Shipping Group and China Shipping Group to form China Cosco Shipping as part of the government’s efforts to shrink industries plagued by overcapacity while creating globally competitive businesses.

The combined company focuses on moving container boxes, commodities and oil and gas through its units.

One such unit, Cosco Shipping Ports, said Wednesday it entered into a concession agreement for the construction, management and operation of the Khalifa Port Container Terminal 2 in Abu Dhabi. The agreement is for 35 years, the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange, with an option to extend it by a further five years.

— With assistance by Jeanne Yang, and Kyunghee Park

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