South Korean Courts Weigh Fate of Hanjin Shipping’s Assets

In August of this year, South Korean firm Hanjin Shipping Co. filed bankruptcy and briefly threw the global shipping and logistics industry into a state of panic. Since the initial shock has worn off, industry partners such as Hyundai have stepped in to pick up the slack, but the saga of the Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy is far from over. Now, South Korean courts must decide what will happen to the remaining assets of the world’s seventh-largest container carrier.

Last month, the court which is overseeing Hanjin’s receivership process announced that it was considering a number of options aimed at rehabilitating the bankrupt company, including selling Hanjin wholesale to another shipping firm. Hanjin must submit its own rehabilitation plan to the court by December, 2016.

Meanwhile, Hanjin’s former chairwoman Choi Eun-young has become embroiled in an insider trading scandal that is currently being investigated by South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service. The investigation began after the regulatory agency discovered that Eun-young had sold all of her shares in Hanjin just before the company filed for a debt restructuring program in April, and a few months prior to the bankruptcy declaration.

This week marks the deadline for Hanjin Shipping’s creditors to file claims against the company in the South Korean bankruptcy court. Some of the company’s creditors, including those in the US, have expressed concerns that the deadline has not given claimants enough time to submit their claims, which require extensive preparation and must be submitted in the Korean language. As of last Friday, nearly 4,000 creditors had filed claims against the shipping firm with the Seoul Central District Court. With Hanjin Shipping’s own deadline to submit a plan for its rehabilitation looming in December, the clock is ticking fast for the ailing company.

Fortunately, here in Western New York, we’ve been able to avoid most of the fallout associated with Hanjin bankruptcy. Thanks to more than seven decades of experience and an extensive network of industry partners, SPEED Global Services is here to stay. For Hanjin Shipping however, the future remains unclear.