South Korean shipping company Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) said Thursday it has entered into a contract to acquire Hanjin Shipping terminals at the ports of Tokyo and Kaohsiung.
HMM will pay $13.15 million to Hanjin Pacific Corporation for those two container terminals, with the price including a purchase and security deposit on the lease of the Tokyo terminal. Hanjin Pacific Corp. is owned by former rival Hanjin Shipping (60 percent) and Marine Terminals Investment Limited (40 percent).
HMM said the deal will expand its port network and strengthen its sales competitiveness.
“We greatly expect that it will have a synergistic effect with HMM+K2 consortium
, which starts on March 1st,” the company said. HMM formed the consortium for intra-Asia trade with Sinokor Merchant Marine Co. and Heung-A Shipping Co. in January. The agreement will cover Japan, China and South East/West Asia trades, and will be automatically renewed for successive, two-year terms.
HMM said at the time the consortium would allow it to acquire competitiveness against "mega shippers" by giving it the ability to "fully access Heung-A and Sinokor’s intra-Asia networks, which particularly focus on the Korea-Japan and Korea-China trades."
Once the seventh largest container carrier in the world, Hanjin filed for court receivership last August and stopped booking new cargo. Under the protection of bankruptcy laws in Korea and the U.S., it has been selling assets such as terminals and vessels.
HMM has also acquired Hanjin's former terminal in Algeciras, Spain near the Strait of Gibraltar and a 20 percent interest in Total Terminals International (TTI), which operates Pier T at the Port of Long Beach and Terminal 46 at the Port of Seattle. Mediterranean Shipping Company owns the other 80 percent of TTI.
This Friday, the Seoul Central District Court is expected to file a “bankruptcy sentence” for Hanjin. According to a notice on Hanjin’s website
, the court has found “liquidation value continues to be higher than its enterprise value.” After a bankruptcy trustee is appointed, the remaining assets of Hanjin Shipping are to be sold.
Earlier this week
, HMM said that in the wake of the Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy, its share of the Asia-U.S. West Coast trade jumped from 4.9 percent in January 2016 to 7.5 percent in January 2017.