Philippines says close to sale of former Hanjin shipyard

MANILA, July 27 (Reuters) – Philippine collectors are with reference to promoting a strategically positioned however debt-laden shipyard north of the capital Manila, govt officers mentioned on Tuesday, with a North American corporate cited as being an investor within the deal.

Hanjin Philippines, a unit of South Korea’s Hanjin Heavy Industries & Building Co Ltd, in 2019 defaulted on $1.3 billion in loans, of which $900 million is owed to South Korean banks and the remainder to 5 Philippine lenders.

Talks with buyers had been virtually entire, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque instructed a information convention.

Hanjin Philippines’ shipyard prior to now hired 20,000 employees in Subic Bay, which is thought of as crucial asset on account of the its refuge, deep water and get admission to to the South China Sea. Till 1992, Subic used to be house to a U.S. army base.

In 2019, the federal government denied a file that it will bar Chinese language firms from bidding for the shipyard over nationwide safety fears.

The shipyard may just restart operations and welcome again employees by means of the top of the yr, Wilma Eisma, chairperson of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, instructed a information convention on Tuesday.

“Bottomline is, we’re again in industry,” Eisma mentioned, including that the white knight used to be a North American company with out naming it.

In 2019, Australian shipbuilder Austal Ltd and U.S. personal fairness company Cerberus had been bearing in mind a joint bid for the power.

“I suppose it’s the identical team closing yr this is concerned as a result of I used to be no longer knowledgeable by means of Hanjin of some other white knight,” receivership attorney Rosario Bernaldo instructed Reuters.

Cerberus didn’t in an instant reply to a request for remark.

“Because of confidentially agreements we will’t identify the shipyard we’re having a look at, or our possible industry companions,” Austal mentioned in a commentary on Tuesday. Austal’s technique is to transport into metal shipbuilding, together with in Asia. (Reporting by means of Neil Jerome Morales Modifying by means of Ed Davies)

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