An investor group led by South Korean builder Dongbu Corp. signed a deal to acquire a controlling stake in debt-saddled shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction, filings showed Friday.
According to the filings, a consortium composed of Dongbu and local private equity firm Echoprime Private Equity will buy a combined 55.7 million common shares, or 66.85 percent voting rights, from eight banks including the state-run Korea Development Bank and the Philippines-based BDO Unibank.
This is part of a nearly 83.5 percent stake held by creditors who converted their loan exposure to Hanjin Heavy to equities. Other Philippines-based creditors -- Rizal commercial Banking Corp., Land Bank of the Philippines and Bank of the Philippine Islands -- will remain shareholders of Hanjin Heavy, instead of exercising their tag-along rights to sell their stake.
The KDB, a main creditor, said the deal closing will mark an end to Hanjin Heavy‘s debt restructuring, which commenced in January 2016.
The Seoul-based creditor added that the proposed buyer was discovering the acquisition price, while the deal is subject to due diligence and the government approval.
The news comes four months after a group of Hanjin Heavy shareholders comprising eight lenders selected Dongbu-led consortium as the preferred bidder for the acquisition.
Facing mounting pressure from debt, Hanjin Heavy suffered a capital impairment in 2018. Its financial strain peaked in 2019 as its subsidiary in the Philippines, which operates a shipyard in Subic, filed for a court receivership in 2019. This forced Hanjin Heavy to carry out a capital reduction and allowed the creditors in Korea and the Philippines to take control of the company.
Hanjin Heavy in 2020 logged an operating profit of 51.6 billion won ($46 million), down nearly 40 percent year-on-year.
Hanjin Heavy, trading on the Korea Exchange‘s main board Kospi, fell 5.3 percent Friday, shortly after it was trading 3 percent higher in the early morning trade. Its market cap on Friday stood at 637 billion won.
By Son Ji-hyoung (email@example.com