South Korea’s Harim preferred buyer of shipper HMM for $4.9 billion – sources

SEOUL (Reuters) – Harim Holdings on Tuesday said it has been chosen as the preferred bidder to buy control of South Korea’s biggest container shipper HMM, in what people with knowledge of the matter said was a 6.4 trillion won ($4.92 billion) deal.

Harim and HMM creditors Korea Development Bank and Korea Ocean Business will negotiate a final deal by the first half of 2024 for 58% of the shipper, said the people, declining to be identified as they were not authorised to discuss terms.

Harim entered bidding via a consortium led by its bulk shipping unit Pan Ocean. It said having Pan Ocean and HMM in the same group will enable them to better navigate any downturn in the global market by being responsive to supply-and-demand and price fluctuation.

Shares in Harim jumped 6.1% after the news in morning trade, versus a 0.1% decline in the benchmark index.

($1 = 1,300.3400 won)

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Christopher Cushing)