Hanjin Shipping Co., the South Korean ocean carrier that filed for bankruptcy protection in August, has agreed to sell its stake in Total Terminals International to Mediterranean Shipping Co., according to Bloomberg News.
The district court in South Korea handling Hanjin’s bankruptcy proceedings on Dec. 20 reportedly approved the deal if the U.S. bankruptcy court in New Jersey agrees to it as well as the necessary port authorities.
Mediterranean Shipping Co. ranks No. 10 and Hanjin ranks No. 23 on the Transport Topics Top 50 list of the largest global freight carriers.
Hanjin owned a 54% stake in Total Terminals International, while MSC had controlled the remaining 46%. Total Terminals International operates one terminal in Long Beach, California, and another in Seattle.
The Port of Long Beach has been suffering declines in overall container traffic since the Hanjin bankruptcy due to the volume of business the shipping line steered toward Total Terminals International.
Another suitor, Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. had indicated that it would be willing to enter into a joint bid with MSC to acquire the terminals, but it dropped out of the process last week. However, the shipping line left open the possibility that it would be interested in purchasing a minority share from MSC, should it be unwilling to maintain 100% ownership after the deal with Hanjin is finalized.
In November, Hanjin sold its Asia-to-United States route and customer data for the route to Korea Line Corp., pending approval from the court.
The latest deal is another sign that the bankruptcy process is winding down and the company is more likely than not heading toward liquidation rather than reorganization.