Hanjin Shipping declared bankrupt

South Korean line ends 40 year existence. Creditors have until 1 May to claim outstanding debts.

Hanjin Shipping was officially declared bankrupt by a Seoul court Friday.

The Seoul Central District Court ended the company's struggle after a two-week period for appeals expired, reports the Yonhap news agency.

The court said a bankruptcy trustee will be appointed to lead the sale of the shipping line's assets to pay off debts to creditors

All creditors are required to report their right to claim debts by 1 May 2017.

“We will make efforts so that debts will be paid off to Hanjin Shipping's creditors through fair liquidation proceedings,” the court said.

Hanjin was put under court receivership on 1 September 2016 after its creditor banks, led by Korea Development Bank (KDB), rejected the shipping company’s self-rescue plan and said they would cease providing financial assistance.

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 ($1.6bn), 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.