Photo: Wikipedia

Harim Group set to acquire HMM, South Korea’s largest shipping company

You can read this article in 2 minutes

Korean food conglomerate Harim Group has secured the position of the preferred bidder for the acquisition of HMM, South Korea’s largest shipping company. The deal, facilitated by primary creditors Korea Development Bank (KDB) and Korea Ocean Business Corporation (KOBC), carries a potential value of up to 6.4 trillion won ($4.9 billion).

According to Korea JoongAng Daily, the decisive move, finalized on Monday, designates a Harim-led consortium as the preferred acquirer of a 57.9% stake in HMM, equivalent to approximately 398.79 million shares. The Pan Ocean-JKL consortium, led by Harim and featuring private equity firm JKL Partners, emerged victorious in the competitive bidding process.

KDB announced, „KDB and KOBC selected the Pan Ocean-JKL consortium as the preferred bidder for the sale of HMM, and the deal will be finalized by the first half of 2024 following discussions on detailed terms.” Harim, the parent company of Pan Ocean, South Korea’s leading bulk cargo carrier, emphasized that the contract’s signing is contingent on finalizing the stock sale agreement and negotiations with shareholders and bondholders.

This strategic move sees state-owned entities divesting their combined 57.9% stake in HMM, marking a crucial development in the ongoing battle for control of the Seoul-based shipping giant.

HMM boasts a substantial fleet of 66 owned ships, encompassing container ships, VLCCs, and bulkers, with an additional 35 newbuildings in the pipeline. Pan Ocean, positioned to facilitate the acquisition, possesses a fleet of 113 ships on the water and 10 newbuildings, valuing the combined fleet at $5.15 billion.