HMM joins tender offer to buy Hyundai LNG Shipping

HMM, South Korea’s largest LNG shipping company, will join a bid to acquire a 100% stake in Hyundai LNG Shipping after selling the LNG tanker operator to a local private equity firm nearly a decade earlier.

According to industry sources, HMM on Friday submitted its intention to participate in the bid to IMM Private Equity and IMM Investment, which together own 100 percent of Hyundai LNG Shipping.

Hyundai LNG Shipping is the country’s largest LNG carrier operator, operating a fleet of 16 LNG carriers and six LPG carriers. It was part of HMM’s LNG shipping division before the unit was sold to IMM in 2014 for around 500 billion won ($375 million) to address liquidity problems.

Since the investment companies started the bidding process for the sale of Hyundai LNG Shipping in March this year, around 20 companies have submitted bids. Of these, four potential buyers from the US, UK, Greece and Denmark were shortlisted by IMM.

The Federation of Korea Maritime Industries, whose membership includes 54 organizations involved in shipping, ports and logistics, recently expressed concern over the possible sale of Hyundai LNG Shipping to a foreign company, saying it could threaten domestic energy security.

Hyundai LNG Shipping signed long-term transportation contracts with Malaysian state-owned energy company Petronas and Spanish energy company Repsol in 2021. Last year, the company reported consolidated sales of 398.1 billion won and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 48.5 billion won.

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