SM Group, which owns Korea Line Corp, has pulled out of the running to take a terminal stake owned by defunct Hanjin Shipping in Long Beach, California.
The decision leaves a consortium of Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) and MSC in pole position to take the 54% stake in the terminal. The pair, who continue to discuss vessel sharing agreements, face one other bidder, a Korean private equity firm, for the port stake. MSC already holds 46% of the terminal.
Korea Line trumped HMM last month to win a bid to take on much of Hanjin’s US shipping assets.
Hanjin Shipping, which sought court protection at the end of August, has been offloading assets around the world in recent months. It has slid from its position as the world’s seventh largest containerline in August to 24th in rankings overseen by Alphaliner with its box fleet today standing at just 62,233 slots.