SK Group has decided to sell off SK Shipping Co. and is in talks with private equity investment firm Hahn & Co. for the sale of the shipping affiliate.
According to the business community and investment banking (IB) industry sources on September 30, Hahn & Co. is in the final stage of negotiations on purchasing 1.5 trillion won (US$1.35 billion) worth of new stocks to be issued by SK Shipping.
Hahn & Co., which owns H-Line Shipping Co., is expected to secure up to a 90 percent stake in SK Shipping. When the negotiations are finalized, SK Group will withdraw from the shipping industry 36 years after acquiring the shipping company.
SK Group has decided to sell off SK Shipping as its shipping unit has had trouble due to a heavy debt and a sluggish market. According to the company's consolidated financial statements as of the end of June, SK Shipping’s debt rate stood at 2,391 percent and the amount of its debts reached 4.4 trillion won (US$3.96 billion). The group made the latest decision partly due the fact that the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has recently tightened the regulation on inside deals between their affiliates.