HK Firm Gets Ship Arrested, Shines Light on Debtor's Operations
Hong Kong company Shagang Shipping has successfully obtained an order for the arrest of the HNA Group controlled vessel 'MV Bulk Peace' from the Western Australia District Registry. The move is part of a long-running legal campaign seeking payment of USD 66.4m from HNA Group.
The claims arise from 2008 when Shagang Shipping chartered a capesize bulk carrier MV Dong-A Astrea, owned by Dong-A Tankers, to a HNA Group company, Grand China Shipping Company Limited, for a period of seven years. However, according to Shagang Shipping, Grand China Shipping only paid hire in accordance with the terms of the contract for the first five months and then ceased payment.
To enforce various international court orders and arbitration awards, Shagang Shipping explains that it has already successfully arrested three ships, including the same ship in India in March 2011 as well as the cruise ship MV Henna in September; obtained a winding up order against the HNA company Grand China Shipping and on 7 March was granted a subpoena from the Southern District Court of New York requiring seven US and Chinese banks affiliated to HNA to provide details of the group’s financial transactions.
A Shagang Shipping spokesperson said: “We are shinning a light on HNA and locating all of HNA's assets to enforce our claims. Whether these assets are heavily financed and backed by complicated leveraged transactions or not, we are examining them all closely. It is well reported that HNA relies on complicated lines of credit in order to aggressively expand and invest in aviation, shipping and hotels. But if HNA Group truly has unlimited access to such lines of credit we do not understand why they are going to such great lengths to avoid and delay honouring their contractual obligations to their business partners."