South Korea to Consider Merging HMM and Hanjin Shipping

first_imgzoom South Korean shipping company Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) and its compatriot Hanjin Shipping could be merged if they succeed in normalizing their management, The Korea Times cited Financial Services Commission (FSC) Chairman Yim Jong-yong.The South Korea’s government said that if the companies manage to achieve the goal, it would consider a number of possibilities, one of which would be merging the cash-strapped firms.The potential merger was mentioned a couple of times before, as last November the government formed a multi-ministry consultative body for restructuring the shippers.The announcement comes a week after HMM reached a deal with containership owners on 20 percent charter rate cuts and with bulk carrier owners for a 25 percent charter rate reductions. The company initially sought a 27 percent rate decrease.The cuts are expected to come into force over the next three and a half years, according to HMM.HMM’s creditor group agreed on the company’s debt restructuring proposal on condition that the shipping firm successfully concludes its negotiations with bond holders and shipowners.HMM has already gained bond holders’ approval for its debt restructuring proposal, as the company faces a USD 4.48 billion wall of debt.Additionally, the normalization of the company’s business would pave the way for the struggling firm to join the new global shipping alliance.Hanjin Shipping also initiated discussions with 22 shipowners on charter rates and plans to meet with bond holders to restructure its debt.Hanjin is required to make its self-rescue efforts to secure liquidity as HMM did.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Amaya CEO investor group looking to take online poker company private

MONTREAL – Amaya’s chairman and CEO is looking to take the world’s largest online poker company private about 18 months after it acquired PokerStars for US$4.9 billion.David Baazov and a group of investors announced Monday their interest in paying $21 per share in cash, 40 per cent above Friday’s closing price.“The particular form and structure of the transaction have not been determined, and no discussions have commenced between Mr. Baazov and Amaya with respect to any particular transaction,” said a news release issued in Baazov’s name.It said there is no guarantee that a transaction will proceed or be concluded. A similar statement issued by the company’s board of directors said a committee of independent directors would review any formal offers by Baazov or others.The announcements prompted a surge in Amaya’s stock price, which peaked Monday at $19.75 on the Toronto Stock Exchange — the most since Dec. 24. In later trading, Amaya (TSX:AYA) stock fell back to close up $3.01 or 20 per cent at $18.Baazov owns about 18.6 per cent of the 132.78 million outstanding shares of Amaya and has options to purchase 550,000 more shares.Amaya as a whole would be worth $2.79 billion at the suggested purchase price, including the stock and options that Baazov already owns.The company’s stock hasn’t recovered since plunging from above $31 in early November after it lowered its financial expectations for 2015.Over the last 52 weeks, they have fallen from a peak of $37.52 about a year ago to a low of $13.73 last week.The company’s board has set up a special committee, headed by lead independent director Dave Gadhia, to review any formal proposal brought forward by Baazov and any other alternatives.Amaya, which owns PokerStars and various other online gaming businesses, didn’t provide a reason for Baazov’s proposal. Amaya and Baazov declined requests for comment.Maher Yaghi of Desjardins Capital Markets said the offer is below his fundamental valuation of $28.50 per share.“While some could see the offer as potentially being opportunistic, it is worth pointing out that the continued strength in the U.S. dollar is a potential headwind for the company’s European poker business,” he wrote in a report.The analyst also said Amaya’s high debt in an environment of increasing interest rates is another factor for shareholders to consider.Amaya transformed its business in the summer of 2014 when it bought Oldford Group, parent company of the Rational Group, which operates PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. Its poker brands have 97 million registered players around the world.Trading activity surrounding the deal came under scrutiny by Quebec’s securities regulator in December 2014 but no allegations have been made by Autorite des marches financiers, which declines to comment.Amaya has said it has discovered no evidence of wrongdoing by its employees.Follow @rossmarowits on Twitter. Amaya CEO, investor group looking to take online poker company private by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 1, 2016 6:43 am MDT Last Updated Feb 1, 2016 at 3:41 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more