Korea Court to Get Final Bids for Hanjin Asset by Early November

  • Seoul Court to receive letters of interest by Oct. 28
  • Expects to sign agreement by mid-November; Hanjin shares rise

South Korean Court Begins Hanjin Asset Sale This Week

A South Korean court will receive bids by November on the sale of the marketing network of Hanjin Shipping Co.’s Asia-U.S. operations as part of efforts to raise funds for the indebted company. The shares surged 30 percent.

The Seoul Central District Court will receive letters of interest from potential buyers by Oct. 28 and final bids by Nov. 7, Hanjin Shipping said in a regulatory filing Thursday. The court expects to sign an agreement on the sale by mid-November, a court spokesman said. Samil PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Korean member firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers that’s evaluating Hanjin, will advise on the sale, the spokesman said. 

Less than two months after South Korea’s biggest container line sought bankruptcy protection, the court hearing the petition has set the ball rolling on the asset sales after indicating last month that it would consider selling the entire company. The planned sale would involve employees and customers of Hanjin’s units handling Asia-U.S. cargo as well as some vessels, the court spokesman said this week.

Shares of Hanjin by the daily 30 percent limit to close at 1,395 won, the highest price since Aug. 29, in Seoul. The stock has plunged 62 percent this year, cutting its market value to about 342 billion won ($301 million).

The bankruptcy filing in late August by Hanjin, once the world’s seventh-biggest container carrier, roiled global supply chains ahead of the year-end holiday season as vessels carrying goods of companies such as Nike Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. were stranded.

Hanjin’s market share has shrunk as customers defected, dropping to 1.3 percent as of Oct. 13 and making the company the 17th biggest container line, according to shipping data provider Alphaliner. Before Hanjin’s filing, it controlled 2.9 percent of the market.

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