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‘Austral-Cerberus consortium close to bidding for collapsed shipyard’
Posted on Wednesday, 09 October 2019 12:54
An Australian-US consortium is believed to be close to submitting an offer within the next few weeks for the Philippines arm of Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction (HHIC) that collapsed earlier this year. Shipbuilder Austral and private equity house Cerberus Capital Management will need to table a formal bid for the country’s largest shipyard, and one of Asia’s most strategically situated, within the next two to three weeks. Court-appointed receiver Rosario Bernaldo told Bloomberg the consortium, which is in exclusive discussions with creditors and close to finishing due diligence, has until 31st October. Bernaldo added she needs to submit a revised plan by the end of the month - regardless of whether interested parties have made an offer or not - in order to complete rehabilitation proceedings by January. “What I want to happen is that the shipyard operates again instead of being a white elephant,” she told Reuters. In an interview with Bloomberg yesterday, Eugene Acevedo, chief executive of Rizal Commercial Banking, said: “I’m reasonably optimistic that we will arrive at a transaction that will give every party what they need.” Separately, Acevedo, whose bank has the biggest exposure to HHIC’s Philippines subsidiary, told Reuters there are non-disclosure agreements in place regarding the negotiations between creditors and the potential acquiror. He noted: “It has to be exclusive because otherwise, it would be unfair for the white knight to put an effort on this huge thing.” The Philippines arm of South Korea’s collapsed HHIC filed for corporate rehabilitation in January 2019 with USD 412.00 million in outstanding loans. It still owes Rizal some USD 145.00 million; other creditors include Land Bank of the Philippine, Metropolitan Bank & Trust, BDO Unibank and Bank of the Philippine Islands. © Zephus Ltd