Hanjin bankruptcy closer than ever

Korean liner company removes most online pages and sells remaining terminal business to HMM.

Hanjin Shipping could be declared bankrupt today, marking the end of the company’s 40-year history, Korean media report.

The liner company is expected to succumb to its snowballing debt as the Seoul Central District Court will appoint a trustee to lead the sale of Hanjin’s assets, the Korea Times reported.

Most pages on Hanjin’s website have been removed, adding to the speculation that the company's bankruptcy is imminent.

Earlier today, compatriot Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) announced the takeover of Hanjin Pacific, an operator of terminals in Tokyo and Kaohsiung.

This was believed to be one of the last remaining assets still controlled by Hanjin, along with some overseas offices.

VesselsValue estimates the value of Hanjin’s fleet at $986m, comprising 42 ships: 29 containerships and 13 bulkers.

State-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) placed 10 Hanjin vessels on the sales block last week.

Some of the companies to have already acquired ships owned by the struggling shipowner are Seaspan Corp, Chartworld Shipping and Capital Maritime & Trading.

Hanjin’s liquidation is expected to fetch KRW 1.79 trillion ($1.57bn), according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The world’s former seventh largest liner company once employed 1,300 people and operated a fleet of 97 boxships and 44 bulk carriers.