South Korea’s STX Pan Ocean files for receivership and defaults on bonds

Despite all attempts, the financially striken STX Pan Ocean has failed to obtain emergency funds from the Korea Development Bank, its main creditor. Subsequently, the company filed for court receivership on Friday 7 June and declared default on a series of 7 public corporate bonds listed on the Korean Stock Exchange (KRX), with a total balance of public bonds of close to USD 1bn.

According to information provided in a regulatory filing to the Korean Stock Exchange (KRX), the Seoul Central District Court will now perform a review of the application and relevant materials and decide whether to commence a company reorganization.

STX Pan Ocean is best known as one of the largest bulker operators in the world and as an operator of major shipyards. In addition, the company is also active in the field of tankers, liquified natural gas carriers, car transporters and container vessels. With a fleet of 25 small and mid-sized boxships, of which seven are owned, STC presently ranks 30th among the world’s container lines in term of teu slots.

The most recent addition to the carrier’s fleet of cellular ships was the STX HONG KONG, delivered in May by Guangzhou Wenching Shipyard. A sister of the ship, to be named STX HO CHI MINH, is slated for delivery later this year. STX is believed to seek buyers for the pair, as well for a number of other ships it owns.

Since most of STX mid-sized container vessels are on short-term sportmarket charters, many of these ships are expected to be returned no later than at the expiry of their current contracts. The only long-term chartered vessels in STX Pan Ocean’s fleet is a quartet of 4,400 teu ships built by Hyundai Samho between 2010 and 2012 and chartered by the Koreans for ten-year periods from the Greek non-operating owner Dioryx Maritime.

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