Hanjin assets sale lead to share price jump

Bankrupt South Korean shipping line Hanjin’s shares jumped today when the company announced that it has plans to sell some of its major businesses.

Court documents say that Hanjin, which recently filed for bankruptcy protection, has received legal approval to look for buyers for its assets in order to pay back creditors that are lining up claims. It will receive letters of intent by the 28th of October.

A Seoul Central District Court spokesperson has told the media that assets currently set to be put up for sale include the entire operations of Hanjin’s US to Asia routes including five container ships, manpower systems as well as 10 overseas businesses. The court is overseeing the shipping line’s receivership.

The spokesperson did not comment on any potential price or any interested parties lining up to buy the assets.

The upshot of the sale announcement was that Hanjin’s shares closed yesterday up 30%, reversing some of the losses the company had suffered since it filed for receivership in the Seoul court on the 31st August.

After a couple of years of poor trading across the global shipping container line fleet, Hanjin is the first major shipping line to go under due to the global overcapacity. At the end of June, Hanjin’s debts stood at six trillion won (£4 billion). When the company went under, several billions of pounds worth of cargo was either stranded at sea or under ship arrest at ports around the world. The collapse has been likened to the collapse of Lehman Brothers bank in terms of its effect on the industry.

More than half of Hanjin’s 97 container ships and 44 bulk carriers are blocking from docking, and four have been seized.  
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