The tender for Hyundai LNG Shipping Co. is gaining heat after the leading LNG tanker operator recently bagged the largest-ever order in history of the shipping industry.
According to sources from the investment banking industry on Wednesday, its owner – a consortium of IMM Private Equity and its affiliate IMM Investment – will tap a buyer of Hyundai LNG Shipping through an open competition to invite more candidates for entire ownership in the company.
As of now, four to five candidates including KG Group and KKR have submitted their preliminary bids. Korea Line and its former owner HMM that were initially considered to be strong candidates have decided against joining the main tender. Citigroup Global Markets Korea Securities leads the sale.
The IMM consortium bought Hyundai LNG Shipping in 2014 from HMM, formerly Hyundai Merchant Marine, at around 1 trillion won ($840.4 million). The gas tanker recently inked a 20-year charter contract involving 174,000-cubic-meter LNG carriers with Malaysia’s Petronas, the largest deal in the sea cargo history in the country.
KG Group that is eyeing the logistics and shipping business as its next growth engine is regarded as one of the strongest contenders in the buyout race. Industry sources speculate KG Group has put up for sale KG ETS, its core waste treatment subsidiary, to tap into the shipping industry.