SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines – Before the year ends, officials of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) are hoping that the financially-troubled Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction (HHIC) Philippines will finally get its white knight.
This comes after reports surfaced that a consortium of private US equity firm Cerberus Capital Management and Australian shipbuilder Austal is considering to salvage the shipyard previously operated by the South Korean shipbuilding company.
The Perth-based Austal Ltd. has relayed its intention to SBMA and the Hanjin creditors to take over the Philippine unit of Hanjin that is located here.
This information was confirmed by Rosario Bernaldo, the new court-appointed receiver of Hanjin.
Bernaldo said Austal had exclusive talks with the Hanjin creditors to save the debt-ridden shipbuilder.
Austal is the latest foreign company to eye the operation of Hanjin.
Recently, two yet unnamed Chinese shipbuilders – one a state-owned firm – expressed interest in the Subic shipyard.
Hanjin earlier filed for voluntary rehabilitation due to $1.3 billion in outstanding loans – $400 million from local banks Land Bank of the Philippines, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Metrobank, Bank of the Philippine Islands, and BDO Unibank. – Rappler.com
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