Shipbuilders, other firms in line for Hanjin assets — SBMA
A SUBIC freeport official said potential investors from within and outside the shipbuilding industry are lined up to negotiate with creditors of failed shipyard Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines, Inc.
First in line for exclusive talks is a foreign shipbuilder that is not Chinese, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Wilma T. Eisma told reporters on the sidelines of a Senate budget hearing Wednesday.
“It’s not a Chinese company, but a foreign company. Right now, ang alam ko (from what I know) is it’s a shipbuilding company. Right now, naka-lock-in. (Talks are locked-in) If they fail, there’ll be another lock-in with other interested parties in line.”
In August, the court-appointed Hanjin Heavy receiver reportedly identified the other party in exclusive talks as Australian shipbuilder Austal Ltd., of Perth.
Ms. Eisma, who said parties to the negotiations prefer not to be identified, also noted that talks could finish by December “or even sooner” and that other investors from various industries are showing interest in taking over the assets, which include a 300-hectare site.
“With the value of asset close to $2 billion, (the debt is only) $412 million,” so any investor will be ahead on asset value alone, she added.
She said the potential investor plans to continue operating the yard because of the presence of a trained workforce.
She said Hanjin Heavy at peak had 33,000 employees, and wound down to about 3,000. The yard is currently staffed by a skeleton crew of 300.
“Depending on the business plan of the Hanjin Heavy white knight, as far as I know, it’s going to be shipbuilding,” she added.
Hanjin Heavy, whose South Korean parent also collapsed, filed for corporate rehabilitation in January.
The failed company owes $145 million to Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.; $85 million to Land Bank of the Philippines; $70 million to Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co.; $60 million to BDO Unibank, Inc. and $52 million to the Bank of the Philippine Islands.