HSH Nordbank is in the process of taking possession of nine container ships operated by South Korea’s debt-ridden Hanjin Shipping Co. and plans to lease them to Denmark’s Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co., the world’s two biggest container-shipping operators, people involved in the matter said.
“HSH is looking to lease six ships to Maersk and three to MSC,” one of the people said.
Delivery of the vessels, which each have a capacity to carry around 13,000 containers, will start in December, that person told the Wall Street Journal.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that Hanjin would reach out to Maersk, a unit of A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, and MSC to sell at least five of its biggest vessels as it tries to raise funds to unload stranded cargo, pay off creditors and re-emerge as an Asian regional carrier.
Before filing for bankruptcy protection in August, Hanjin was the world’s seventh-biggest container-shipping operator by capacity.
The involvement of HSH Nordbank is unclear, but the people involved said it likely had lent money to Hanjin to buy some of the vessels and was taking them back as the Korean operator can’t keep up with payments.
HSH Nordbank declined to comment.