The government of South Korea stated that they would consider merging ailing Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) and Hanjin Shipping, should they successfully normalize their operations. Currently, the two debt-riddled shippers are undergoing restructuring programs.
Depending on the outcome of the program, state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) would emerge as the controlling stakeholder of the firms, whilst the government would then lead the merger of the pair in the future.
According to sources, Hanjin Shipping continued to struggle to obtain a cut in charter rates during negotiations with the owners of its chartered fleet. The charter rate cut was one of the key conditions set by its creditors for the company to avert court receivership.
According to sources, Hanjin Shipping, has been in talks with about 22 owners of chartered ships since April 2016, but reported little progress during negotiations.
Hanjin’s struggle for a charter rate cut was in stark contrast to its smaller local rival, Hyundai Merchant Marine, which has reached an agreement with its ship owners to cut charter rates by 21%.