Hyundai Merchant Marine HMM privatization halted


According to Alphaliner, the Korean Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans says it will not proceed with an immediate sale of HMM despite recent progress in privatizing Korean shipping company Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.

Oceans and Fisheries Minister Cho Seung-hwan said that while the principle of HMM’s privatization was clear, the government remained cautious about the timing. “Considering its share price, its privatization will not be impossible even after next year,” Cho said.
Cho’s predecessor, Moon Seong-hyeok, also argued that HMM’s management conditions needed to stabilize “for the next two to three years” before a sale could take place.

The news angered some minority private shareholders in HMM who point to rapidly deteriorating conditions in the container shipping market.

State-sponsored agencies KDB and KOBC together own just over 40% of HMM. The government has already declared that it will not sell to a foreign company or private equity firm. Hyundai Motor, POSCO and SM Group have so far come forward as potential buyers.

Source: Alphaliner

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