SM Group Tied to Korea Ship Finance Takeover

Emerging South Korean maritime player Samra Midas (SM) Group has been linked to a purchase of a stake in Korea Ship Finance from the ailing shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).

The move is said to be part of DSME’s restructuring efforts aimed at boosting the company’s liquidity that took a major hit over the past couple of years, in particular in its offshore shipbuilding division.

SM Group is seeking to buy DSME’s 35 percent stake, for which it has been selected as the preferred bidder, and an additional 27 percent stake from STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, thus taking a majority stake in the fund, Asiasis reported citing industry sources.

Aside to the two shipbuilding majors, Korea Development Bank holds 14 percent stake in the fund followed by Suhyup Bank and Korea Investment with around 8 percent stake each.

KSF is a ship-fund managing company established in 2003, specializing in acquisition of ships along with operation and management of ship investment and ship management.

SM Group has been very active over the recent period in taking over assets from fallen shipping companies, including that of Hanjin Shipping by acquiring its Asia-US route and buying five of its 6,655 TEU boxships for USD 60 million.

The group was also selected as the preferred bidder for compatriot STX Corporation earlier in March this year.

World Maritime News Staff

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