A U.S. District Court bankruptcy judge has approved a $133 million dollar deal between Hanjin Shipping Co. and a terminal operating subsidiary of the Mediterranean Shipping Co. to purchase a majority share in Total Terminals International.
In the deal, MSC’s subsidiary will pay $78 million to take over the terminal operator that leases Pier T in Long Beach, California, and Terminal 46 in Seattle. The deal also forgives $54.6 million that Hanjin owed to TTI for terminal services to load and unload containers.
Port officials in Long Beach approved the sale in December and the Northwest Seaport Alliance in Washington state agreed to the deal in early January.
Judge John Sherwood’s approval was the final piece to complete the transaction that’ll move Hanjin closer to the end of the bankruptcy process.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, an international accounting firm, recommended liquidating the shipping line rather than have the South Korean bankruptcy court attempt to restructure it. Lawyers for the cargo owners and container lessors with unpaid bills to Hanjin have told Transport Topics that liquidation is the most likely scenario.
A group of U.S. creditors asked Sherwood to delay or block the $78 million deal because they argued that Hanjin could’ve gotten more money and the deal will make it harder for them to recoup their losses. All proceeds from the sale will be returned to South Korea for administration of the bankruptcy process.