BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said Naval Group, which was part of the delegation of French firms that participated in the 8th Joint Economic Commission meeting between the Philippines and France last week, has started its technical study of the facility.
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French firm Naval Group studies takeover of Hanjin Subic
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - July 1, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — French firm Naval Group is conducting a study for a possible takeover of the shipyard facility of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines (HHIC-Phil Inc.) in Subic, according to the Board of Investments.

BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said Naval Group, which was part of the delegation of French firms that participated in the 8th Joint Economic Commission meeting between the Philippines and France last week, has started its technical study of the facility.

“Naval Group visited in March. They said they will do technical study which they continue to do,” he said.

Earlier, Rodolfo said the Naval Group was among the three foreign groups that promised to come up with studies and business proposals for Hanjin’s facility in Subic. The two others are Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyard Group and an American firm.

Laurent Estrade, economic counsellor of the French Embassy in the Philippines, told reporters there is one specific French company interested in Hanjin’s Subic facility.

“We know French companies or maybe one specific French company could be interested in investing in the shipyard, but we don’t know or have any updated information on the level of consideration for such investment which we know is very strategic for the shipbuilding of the Philippines,” he said.

While the business proposals and studies would have to be presented by the groups to the creditors of HHIC-Phl, Rodolfo said interested parties are asking the BOI to find out if the facility could be retrofitted for other activities.

HHIC-Phil halted operations after declaring bankruptcy with $412 million in outstanding loans from Philippine banks BDO Unibank Inc., Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., Land Bank of the Philippines, Bank of the Philippine Islands, and Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC), as well as $900 million debt with South Korean lenders.

Last week, RCBC senior executive vice president John Thomas Deveras said the Philippine creditors have transferred $149 million out of their $412 million loan exposure to get a 20 percent stake in Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Co. Ltd., HHIC-Phil’s parent company in South Korea, as part of a plan to recover their loan exposure to Hanjin.

Also part of the plan to recover the loan exposure is the sale of the Subic shipyard facility to interested firms.

Deveras has said the exposed banks would seek the government’s approval on the buyer of the facility given geopolitical considerations.

The government is helping link HHIC-Phil to potential investors in line with its push for shipbuilding and to enable creation of employment opportunities for workers affected by the firm’s closure.

Established in 2006, HHIC-Phil is focused on building high-value vessels.

It employed 30,000 workers at the peak of its operations. 

HANJIN HEAVY INDUSTRIES AND CONSTRUCTION PHILIPPINES NAVAL GROUP
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