Marine Link
Monday, September 26, 2016

Sewol Ferry Major Shareholder Lodges Receivership Application

June 23, 2014

Sewal capsized: Photo Korea CG

Sewal capsized: Photo Korea CG

The major shareholder of the South Korean operator of the ferry on which hundreds of high school students drowned in April has applied for receivership, a court said on Monday.

Chonhaiji Co Ltd, a ship block maker and the major shareholder of ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine Company, lodged its application at the Changwon District Court last week, a court official said.

Chonghaejin Marine owned the Sewol, which sank on April 16 on a routine journey between the mainland port of Incheon and the holiday island of Jeju. Of 476 passengers and crew on board, including 339 students and teachers from the same school, 172 were rescued with the remainder presumed drowned.

Chonhaiji had 34.8 billion won ($34.19 million) in outstanding debt to main creditor Korea Development Bank as of last week, the bank's spokesman said.

The company, which owned 39.4 percent of the ferry operator as of end-2013, reported a net profit of 1.01 billion won last year. But it missed some debt repayments due last month as its business suffered in the aftermath of the disaster.

The court has not yet decided whether to grant the company protection from debtors or to order its liquidation, the official said on condition of anonymity to avoid being associated with the ferry accident.

Chonhaiji is one of the companies that were controlled by the sons of an elderly businessman, Yoo Byung-un, who is the co-founder of the church which owns the website www.god.com, and has evaded South Korea's most intense manhunt for a month.

Yoo and his sons, also having evaded capture, are wanted for charges ranging from embezzlement and negligence to tax evasion.

(By Joyce Lee)



Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Sep 2016 - Maritime & Ship Security

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

Subscribe
Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the subsea industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email three times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News