SM Line launches bid to take over Hanjin Heavy

SM Line, the four-year-old Asian containerline, is one of three local bidders keen to acquire South Korea’s oldest shipbuilder, Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction (HHIC).

HHIC’s main creditor and largest shareholder, state-owned Korea Development Bank (KDB), said this week three Korean consortiums have made bids for the yard, two of which are led by local banks, including a KDB subsdiary, and one by SM Line.

A decision on the winning bid will be made public early next year. KDB’s 83.45% stake in the shipbuilder, which has been under court protection for many years, is thought to be worth $550m.

As well as its home base in Busan, HHIC has a giant yard in Subic Bay in the Philippines.

Founded in 1937, HHIC was once one of the world’s top 10 shipbuilders. It sought court protection five years ago.

SM Line’s parent is Samra Midas, a conglomerate best known as a construction firm. It has a diverse shipping portfolio having taken over dry bulk concern Korea Line Corporation seven years ago. Korea Line Corporation then took over defunct Samsun Logix.

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.


  1. If they want to make a success of Hanjin shipbuilders, All , repeat All senior management must go, they have run the company into the ground.

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