Hanjin Shipping officially liquidated by Seoul court
Bankrupt shipping line was once world's seventh-largest
KIM JAEWON, Nikkei staff writer
SEOUL -- A Seoul court ruled Friday that bankrupt Hanjin Shipping is to be liquidated, concluding it is better to kill the debt-ridden South Korean shipping line, once the world's seventh-largest, than to seek to revive it.
The Seoul Central District Court said it will take steps to liquidate Hanjin soon by appointing attorney Kim Jin-han as its trustee. The company has been under the court's receivership since August as creditors declined to extend 3.4 trillion won ($3 billion) worth of loans.
"We will make efforts to pay back debt to creditors, as much as possible, through the liquidation process," the court said. Creditors need to make claims by May 1, and the claims will be evaluated starting June 1.
The announcement came two months after accounting firm Samil PwC said the shipping line's value through liquidation would be 1.8 trillion won, while it was difficult to estimate the company's value if it were to continue operating.
Hanjin was heavily indebted due to high charter fees to shipowners amid low demand in the global market. It was once the nation's largest shipping line, handling 17.5% of cargo between South Korea and the Americas.
Korean Air Lines, Hanjin's largest shareholder with a 33.2% stake, wrote off more than 825.1 billion won of losses stemming from the shipping line last year.