Creditors of Hanjin Shipping Co. are fighting the sale of the bankrupt South Korean company’s stake in the largest terminal at the Port of Long Beach.
The creditors, including several cargo container leasing companies, on Jan. 6 filed an objection to the sale in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Newark, N.J., saying Hanjin failed to pay their claims or disclose necessary financial information, with some claiming the $78 million combined price tag for the Long Beach terminal and a smaller Port of Seattle terminal wasn’t the best and highest offer.
The creditors have asked the bankruptcy judge to delay, cancel, or modify the Long Beach terminal sale, arguing Hanjin has leased tens of thousands of cargo containers, many of which it still possesses, and owes them billions of dollars.
A South Korean bankruptcy court in December signed off on Hanjin’s sale of its 54 percent stake in Total Terminals International, which operates the 385-acre Pier T at the Port of Long Beach, to Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Co. That company’s subsidiary, Terminal Investment Ltd., already owns 46 percent of TTI.
The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners also voted last month to allow the sale, with some provisions.
Under the new lease agreement, Mediterranean Shipping must deposit $10 million into TTI’s account, representing its investment in the company; continue to provide the port with a guaranteed annual minimum payment that for this lease year is $83.5 million; and raise six existing cargo container cranes by April 8, 2018, instead of a previously negotiated 10 as well as build two new cranes by 2020 that can handle larger 20,000-container vessels.
Hanjin has operated in Long Beach since 1979 and took over operations at the then-newly built Pier T in 2002.
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