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Advisors appointed for HMM sale

Samsung Securities has been appointed to manage the sale of the South Korean government’s shares in HMM, while Samil PricewaterhouseCoopers and law firm Lee & Ko will be the accounting and legal advisors for the process.

The appointments come after HMM’s two largest shareholders, Korea Development Bank (KDB) and and Korea Ocean Business Corporation (KOBC), announced on 2 March that they would begin the process of divesting the state’s interest in the country’s flagship carrier.

Particularly, the stakes held by KDB and KOBC, respectively standing at 20.96% and 19.96% respectively, are being prioritised for divestment.

Samsung Securities, Samil PwC and Lee & Ko were rated highly for their consulting fees and financial evaluation skills.

Considering HMM’s market capitalisation, the sale price could be at least US$4 billion.

Convertible bonds held by KDB and KOBC could take their potential HMM holdings to 71%, pushing the possible sale price to nearly US$7 billion.

KDB has long made it clear that it is time for HMM to come off state support, after the company recorded two years of record earnings, fuelled by the Covid-19 pandemic that pushed freight rates to all-time highs.

With the market now normalising, the government is pushing to find a buyer before HMM’s financial performance weakens.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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