The proposed new owners of Terminal 46 at the Port of Seattle are disputing whether a $11 million security deposit is required for the bankrupt Hanjin lease that lasts until 2025.
Northwest Seaport Alliance, which operates the Seattle and Tacoma ports, approached Swiss-based cargo firm Mediterranean Shipping (MSC) and its affiliate, Luxembourg-based Terminal Investment Limited, after the companies' $78 million offer was conditionally accepted for the majority stake.
Court records show that Terminal Investment believes there’s no need to provide a security deposit. This led to Northwest Seaport Alliance asking a judge to block the pending sale on Friday (January 6, 2017) .
The sale may now be on hold until the buyers hand over the financial documents and pay a minimum one-year lease charge of $11.25 million. A hearing will be held on Thursday (January 12, 2017) in US Bankruptcy Court in New Jersey.
Lawyers for the Northwest Seaport Alliance said in court documents that they’re not trying to stop the sale but want to ensure the new terminal operating company is fit to take over Hanjin’s old lease.
If the objection is denied, Northwest Seaport Alliance will work with new owners to organise a different security deposit or background check.
Hanjin was South Korea’s largest cargo container carrier and the seventh-largest in the world before its August 31, 2016 bankruptcy.
The lease figure of $11.25 million is the same as the payment request for the lease sent by the Port of Seattle last month (December 2016) to Total Terminals International (TTI).