SM Group eyes more takeovers at home and abroad

South Korea’s Samra Midas Group (SM Group) is looking to acquire more shipping assets to further expand its business, Korean local media Yonhap News reports.

“We will regain the fame held by Hanjin Shipping and are willing to take over foreign shipping firms as well to expand into overseas markets,” Woo Oh-heun, chairman of SM Group said today.

SM Group, best known as a construction company, has been taking over a series of financially troubled shipping companies. It now owns dry bulk outfit Korea Line Corp as well new containerline SM Line and the rump of the STX empire in the form of STX Corp. It narrowly failed last year to take over defunct SPP Shipbuilding.

The company’s new container shipping unit kicks off on the intra-Asia trades this month and from April 21 onto the transpacific trades after it acquired the transpacific operations of bankrupt Hanjin Shipping. The company intends to build a fleet of 110,000 slots by as soon as next year.

In March, a SM Group-led consortium was picked as the preferred bidder for cash-strapped STX Corporation.

According to Woo, SM Line aims to generate KRW400bn ($357m) in sales, and annual sales of KRW3 trn ($2.68bn) in two or three years.

“We will rearrange businesses among affiliates, and I bet we will create synergy among them,” Woo said.

Jason Jiang

Jason is one of the most prolific writers on the diverse China shipping & logistics industry and his access to the major maritime players with business in China has proved an invaluable source of exclusives. Having been working at Asia Shipping Media since inception, Jason is the chief correspondent of Splash and associate editor of Maritime CEO magazine. Previously he had written for a host of titles including Supply Chain Asia, Cargo Facts and Air Cargo Week.
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