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January 20, 2017 6:00 PM, EST

Hyundai Merchant Marine to Buy Minority Stake in Total Terminals International

Hyundai Merchant Marine will buy a 20% stake in Total Terminals International, agreeing to a $15.6 million deal with Mediterranean Shipping Co. on Jan. 19, one day after a U.S. bankruptcy court approved MSC’s purchase from the bankrupt Hanjin Shipping Co.

The result would be an arrangement at Total Terminals International’s locations in Long Beach, California, and Seattle that is similar to the period when Hanjin was a majority owner and MSC was a minority partner. Hanjin had owned 54% until U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John Sherwood approved a deal on Jan. 18 to sell its stake to MSC for $78 million and forgive $54.6 million in debt.

“[We] will receive the same port tariff rates with MSC, and it will help reduce terminal handling costs and secure stable profitability,” Hyundai Merchant Marine wrote in a statement. “TTI’s handling volumes will dramatically increase, as we strengthen Asia-U.S. services through strategic cooperation with 2M beginning of April.”

Hyundai Merchant Marine wanted to issue a joint bid with MSC to Hanjin but withdrew over issues about its creditworthiness and said it would acquire a stake from MSC at a later time.

Volume at the Long Beach terminal fell about 50% to 650,000 industry-standard 20-foot equivalent units after Hanjin’s bankruptcy protection filing in late August 2016, according to court testimony. Hanjin Shipping told the court that TTI lost $37 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization in 2016, and Sherwood acknowledged on Jan. 18 that the terminal operator also could go bankrupt.