Rescue plan! 2 Chinese shipbuilders keen on saving Hanjin
By Kris Crismundo
MANILA — Two Chinese shipbuildersare interested in taking over the business of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines (HHIC-Phil), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary and Board of Investments (BOI) Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said.
Rodolfo said his office received queries from officials of the two Chinese firms, one a state-owned and the other a private company, after learning that the South Korean shipbuilder’s Philippine operation is in serious debt problem.
Hanjin revealed that it has a total of $1.3 billion outstanding loans — $400 million from Philippine banks and USD900 million from South Korean lenders.
According to Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Hanjin filed a petition last Tuesday at the Regional Trial Court in Olongapo City “to initiate voluntary rehabilitation under Republic Act 10142, otherwise known as An Act Providing for the Rehabilitation or Liquidation of Financially Distressed Enterprises and Individuals”.
Hanjin has sought help from the government to find investors that can take over the operation of its shipyard in Subic, as well as to help Hanjin employees, who have taken the brunt of the company’s financial woes.
In December 2018, the company laid off more than 7,000 workers.
“They are now looking into this rehabilitation and possible take over of another company. That’s the idea, so that they can continue with the operation or restructure the operation if it’s handled by strategic investor, in other words someone from the industry also. If it’s a financial company that will take over then it will have to get a technical support either from existing,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
“What we need to support is, first, to assist the possible strategic investor coming from the industry to be the one taking over or one that is buying that business,” Lopez said. (PNA)