South Korea’s Harim Group to Add Grain Trading Business
In December 2014, South Korea-based Harim Group’s Jeil Holdings Co. Ltd together with JKL Partners became the preferred bidders to acquire the world’s largest bulk shipping company, Pan Ocean Co Ltd, which has been spun off from STX Group. Pan Ocean has been in receivership since 2013, in a deal worth just under US$900 million. The company ships 120 million tons of bulk cargo per year, with sales reaching US$13.5 billion in 2014.
Once the Pan Ocean acquisition is completed in May, Harim plans to develop and add a grain trading business to the shipping company. The goal is to build a major grain dealer in the sector while growing sales at Pan Ocean by seven times to US$8.97 billion.
Harim Group owns four listed companies – poultry meat producer, Harim Co. Ltd, pork and feed producers Sunjin Co. Ltd and Farmsco, and Harim Holdings Co Ltd. The group also has a poultry processing plant in the U.S. and feed plants in China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and in Myanmar. The company has experience requiring grains for raw materials and has a built-in demand base; the addition of a grain trading company and Pan Ocean will also help streamline efficiency in the shipping business, since it will avoid vessels making return voyages with empty holds.