SM Line has spent $646m bolstering its stake in fellow Korean liner HMM, sparking additional conjecture of a takeover.
HMM, which the Korean authorities has been eager to promote, is sort of 10 instances bigger in teu phrases than SM Line, an organization which was based across the time of the collapse of one other well-known identify in Korean container transport, Hanjin Transport. However, with SM now holding a 5.52% stake in HMM and changing into the provider’s third largest shareholder, the hearsay mill in Seoul has restarted discuss of a takeover, one thing denied by SM when it was first revealed to have invested in HMM shares in December final 12 months.
SM Group, which has a background within the building trade, has purchased ought transport strains lately, together with Korea Line Corp and Samsun Logix, now rebranded as Korea Transport Corp.
SM Group chairman Woo Oh-hyun is well-known in Korean enterprise circles as a grasp of mergers and acquisitions, however the scale distinction between SM and HMM has many questioning whether or not Woo can handle a buyout of this measurement. HMM is the world’s eighth largest liner, and is on observe to have a fleet in extra of 1m teu quickly, whereas SM Line lies in twenty second place in Alphaliner’s provider rankings with a fleet totalling round 85,000 slots main one enterprise reporter in Seoul to query whether or not this “shrimp” may swallow a “whale”.
HMM has been underneath the management of state collectors for a few years, however Seoul has indicated in latest months it’s trying to privatise the road.