Hamburg ocean carrier Hapag-Lloyd has failed to make it into a second row of bidding for Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM), the South Korean state-run line that has gone private after its public backers pulled out.
Although the German line was a strong contender for buying HMM, the only private entity vying for ownership of Korea’s flagship carrier didn’t get the nod from Korea Development Bank (KDB) and Korean Ocean Business Co (KOBC).
A statement issued by the Federation of Korea Maritime Industries and the Busan Port Development Council said: “Selling HMM to Hapag-Lloyd could lead to an overseas leakage of Korea’s priceless national assets, such as maritime logistics know-how accumulated for decades and container transportation and terminal system management.”
According to a report out east, an entity controlling Korean line Pan Ocean, Harim Group, has partnered with a local private equity firm in the continued bidding process.
“It is joined in the second round by LX Holdings and Dongwon Group, Korean firms with interests in logistics.
“Due diligence will now take place with a preferred bidder set to be announced by early November with the state creditors keen to complete the sale by the end of the year.”
Until recently Hapag Lloyd’s stakes in the bidding process appeared very strong, creating the impression that the carrier was well on its way to adding HMM’s extensive fleet to its own.
Apart from 88 container vessels, HMM boasts five bulk ships, ten oil tankers, four heavy-lifters and three pure car truck carriers (roll-on roll-offs) that are under construction, Splash 247 reports.