MANILA, Philippines — Ports tycoon Enrique Razon is in talks with the creditor banks of Hanjin for the possibility of taking over the shipyard of the bankrupt shipping construction giant.
“We’re still making presentations to the banks. We’re developing a masterplan for Hanjin.” Razon told reporters yesterday on the sidelines of the annual stockholders meeting of the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI).
He declined to divulge details of his group’s plan for the sprawling Hanjin shipyard but said it is not related to shipbuilding.
“Definitely, we don’t want anything to do with shipbuilding,” Razon said.
The 300-hectare Hanjin shipyard could be developed into several ports, he said.
But the facility has no access road that is necessary for it to be developed into ports or several parts.
Asked what would be done with Hanjin’s loans, Razon said these are all part of the discussions with the banks.
ICTSI global corporate head Christian Gonzalez said no formal offer has been made as the listed firm is still discussing with the banks a potential proposal for Hanjin.
Gonzalez said it could be a multipurpose infrastructure like automotive terminal and other multi-purpose facilities for steel or power.
Both Razon and Gonzalez, his nephew, agree that the site is strategic from a maritime point of view, but problematic from a road infrastructure point of view.
In January, Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines, the Philippine subsidiary of South Korean shipping giant Hanjin, declared bankruptcy.
It filed for rehabilitation before an Olongapo City court, after being negatively affected by the global economic slowdown, which in turn affected trade.
It has roughly P21 billion in debts to some of the country’s biggest banks including BDO, BPI, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Metrobank and Land Bank of the Philippines.
Razon said the banks do not want to operate the facility and would eventually have to allow another party to come in.
He said that if the banks approve his group’s offer, his team would also be hiring the workers of Hanjin for his group’s manpower needs.
Aside from Razon, other investors including Chinese groups, have expressed interest in Hanjin.
ICTSI has port operations all over the world. It has at least 16 ports in the Asia and the Pacific including ports in the Philippines, two in Africa, seven in the Americas, and four in Europe and the Middle East.
The company won the 25-year concession to operate the Manila International Container Terminal.
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) – April 12, 2019 – 12:00am