No bidders step forward to buy STX’s unit Pan Ocean

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No bidders step forward to buy STX’s unit Pan Ocean

The nation’s leading bulk carrier STX Pan Ocean failed to attract potential buyers.

According to industry sources no potential bidders submitted letters of interest in acquiring STX Pan Ocean before a deadline of 3 p.m. yesterday.

The shipbuilding and shipping conglomerate STX has been trying to sell its key affiliate STX Pan Ocean because its financial condition has deteriorated in the wake of a decelerating global economy.

STX Pan Ocean’s debt is estimated to be roughly 5 trillion won ($4.5 billion).

The group was planning to hold a public bidding if more than two bidders showed interest.

To find a buyer, STX at its recent shareholders meeting proposed expanding the qualifying companies from local financial companies to nonfinancial companies and retail investors.

The industry was speculating that foreign funds and local companies such as Samsung SDS and Hyundai Glovis may participate.

As the sale fell through, Korea Development Bank, which is the main creditor of the bulk carrier, could take it over by forming a private equity fund as it did when it acquired Daewoo E&C.

KDB currently owns a nearly 15 percent stake in the company while STX and affiliates own 35 percent in the bulk carrier.

The shipping industry’s No. 2 company, Korea Line Corporation (KLC), is also up for sales.

But KLC is also said to have trouble finding interested parties.

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