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Pan Ocean pulls out of Eastar Jet acquisition Shipping firm likely to keep exploring possible acquisitions in aviation industry

Translated by Kim So-in 공개 2021-06-16 08:06:48

이 기사는 2021년 06월 16일 08:04 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

Pan Ocean, a shipping firm which was considered one of the strong candidates to acquire financially troubled budget carrier Eastar Jet, has pulled out of the deal.

Pan Ocean submitted its letter of intent to acquire the budget carrier last month, but decided not to submit its bid. The deep-pocketed shipping firm has been mentioned as one of the strong prospective buyers along with Kanglim, a local equipment maker, and SJ, a local construction company which is a stalking-horse bidder.

The actual acquisition price is estimated to reach a 300 billion won ($268 million) range, including Eastar Jet’s debts worth 200 billion won and costs for its business normalization. Market insiders have paid attention to whether Pan Ocean will remain in the race as the post-merger integration process is expected to face rocky road.

Pan Ocean has shown interest in the budget carrier to create synergies by setting up all-round logistics system which covers land, sea and air. However, it will be difficult for the potential buyer to expand its logistics business as Eastar Jet has only two aircrafts that can be operated immediately after receiving an air operator certificate (AOC), industry sources said.

“Currently, Eastar Jet is capable of operating Boeing 737 and 800 aircrafts, which are not transformable to cargo planes,” said an industry source.

Eastar Jet has operated short-distance destinations such as Southeast Asia and domestic routes. “In order for a company to focus on the logistics business rather than passenger transportation, the air carrier has to expand routes to the Americas and Europe, which won’t be easy in the short term,” said a second industry source.

Pan Ocean is highly likely to continue to explore possible acquisition opportunities in the airline industry in a bid to expand its logistics business. The shipping firm has reportedly been studying the aviation industry alongside Eastar Jet, which enables the company to create synergy between passenger and cargo transportation.

With Pan Ocean walking away from the deal, the deal will be the two-way race between a consortium led by Kanglim and stalking-horse bidder SJ. Eastar Jet plans to review their bidding prices to select the final preferred bidder. (Reporting by Seon-young Kim)
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