CMA CGM close to settling dispute with Hanjin Heavy
Long-running dispute between CMA CGM and Hanjin Heavy Industries over a pair of 6,500 teu ships may soon be settled, enabling the French line to take delivery of the newbuildings.
CMA CGM would not comment on the speculation, but industry sources said the line has been able to raise the money to make the final instalments.
Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction confirmed that it had reinstituted the order with CMA CGM for one of the ships that it cancelled on February 17.
The shipbuilder also confirmed that it would deliver this and the second ship once the final payments had been received. But so far no payment had yet been received.
One Seoul-based analyst said no official deal had yet been struck.
The CMA CGM Lamartine and CMA CGM Maupassant had been at the centre of a stand-off between the French line and the South Korean shipyard which had threatened to put one of them up for sale unless the outstanding amount due was settled.
That was nearly two months ago, and since then the situation has gone quiet as the French line focused attention on negotiations with potential investors and prepares to publish its annual results later this month.
The two vessels are part of a series of four, the first of which was delivered to CMA CGM some time ago. But the second one was sold to interests associated with Greek owner George Economou after CMA CGM failed to complete the purchase, and is now on charter to Mediterranean Shipping Co. Hanjin Heavy then said it would invite bids for the third one unless the French line settled its account.
Broker reports that CMA CGM has reached agreement with the South Korean shipyard coincided with confirmation from the Marseilles-headquartered line that it was ?currently studying many offers? from potential investors, but would say no more for reasons of confidentiality.
Neither would the Saadé family-controlled business comment on reports in the French press last week that Louis Dreyfus Armateurs was no longer interested in investing in CMA CGM.
But the Qatari sovereign fund is still thought to be in the frame with at least $1bn ready to invest in CMA CGM in terms of both equity and loans, while other financial investors are also talking to the company.