A rescue plan is pending for Korea’s Daewoo
Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering — the world’s second biggest shipbuilding company. But all depends on whether its biggest shareholder,
the National Pension Service, approves. It would be Daewoo’s second bailout. And as our Hwang Ho-jun reports, a decision
is expected most likely in the next few hours. A decision is expected soon on whether the
troubled Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering will get another lifeline. At an investors’ meeting Friday, the National
Pension Service — a major bondholder in Daewoo Shipbuilding — will discuss whether to accept
a rescue plan proposed by Korea Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of Korea late
last month. It holds 45 percent of Daewoo Shipbuilding
bonds maturing this month,… worth an estimated 200 billion won, or over 170 million U.S.
dollars. Under the rescue package, Daewoo Shipbuilding
would receive new loans worth 2-point-6 billion dollars if lenders and bondholders agree to
swap debt for new shares in the shipbuilder. All stakeholders must agree to the debt-for-equity
swap, and bondholders must also give a three-year grace period for repayment of the remaining
debt. If the plan is approved, it will be the second
bailout for Daewoo,… currently the world’s second-largest shipbuilder by revenue. The shipbuilder has been suffering from severe
liquidity problems after a drop in global demand for vessels and other industry-wide
difficulties. Creditors say it’s inevitable that Daewoo
will be put under a new form of court receivership, called a prepackaged plan, unless the bondholders
agree to the debt-for-equity swap plan. If the shipbuilder is put under court receivership,
observers expect the aftermath will be brutal, as it could result in 50,000 jobs lost and
trigger massive cancellations of ships currently under construction. Daewoo Shipbuilding’s bondholders are expected
to gather early next week to discuss the debt-to-equity swap and rollover plan. Hwang Hojun, Arirang News