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.