Hyundai Group chair spending $24m to prop up HMM

Hyundai Group chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun will cough up around KRW30bn ($24.4m) of her own money in a bid to save Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM).

HMM, weighed down by more than $5bn debts, has stripped assets fast in recent months to stay solvent. A brokerage firm, a container terminal and HMM’s dry bulk division have all gone on the chopping block.

“We have decided to raise share capital by issuing 6 million shares (at 5,000 won apiece) through a third-party allotment,” HMM said in a regulatory filing.

Hyun and her mother Kim Moon-hee will buy 4m and 2m shares respectively. The shares will list in Seoul on March 4.

Hyun’s move comes as it emerges HMM has sent a letter to owners chartering vessels to the Korean line, begging for cuts in charter fees and warning the carrier is close to collapse.


Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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