Hanjin Shipping Asia-US operations to be put up for sale as early as Friday

A Hanjin Shipping Co ship is seen stranded outside the Port of Long Beach, California.
A Hanjin Shipping Co ship is seen stranded outside the Port of Long Beach, California.PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (REUTERS) - The South Korean court overseeing Hanjin Shipping Co's receivership process plans to put the collapsed shipper's Asia-US operations up for sale as early as Friday (Oct 14), a court spokesman said on Thursday.

The sale comes as creditors line up claims less than two months after the company, applied for court receivership as the first major shipping line to be dragged down by global industry overcapacity and comparatively low freight rates.

The firm had total debt of 6.03 trillion won (S$7.38 billion) as of end-June, according to its court filing.

Hanjin Shipping shares surged 14 per cent on hopes for the asset sale, and were trading 8.8 per cent higher as of 0124 GMT. The stock has tumbled about 34 per cent since late August.

Hanjin Shipping received court approval to seek buyers for assets in order to pay back creditors now in the process of making claims until Oct 25. Its container ship capacity had shrunk to 17th place in global rankings as of Oct. 9, according to shipping data provider Alphaliner.

The spokesman for the Seoul Central District Court said the deadline for binding bids is expected to be Nov. 7. He declined to comment on potential price or interested parties for the assets.

The assets likely to be put up for sale include the manpower and operating systems for Hanjin Shipping's US-Asia routes, five container ships, seven overseas businesses and logistics operation systems. Terms of the sale are subject to change.