Cerberus completes Hanjin shipyard takeover

Published April 25, 2022, 2:06 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

US firm Cerberus Frontier has completed the acquisition of the former Hanjin shipyard at the Subic Bay Freeport in Zambales, a “win-win” takeover especially for the Filipino people, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).

At the reception in Washington marking Cerberus’ full takeover of the shipyard, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the acquisition has been beneficial to all stakeholders, including workers, Philippine military and creditors.

Dominguez cited that Cerberus has managed to retain and create more jobs in the area, further stimulated the Philippines’ robust growth, and served the requirements of both the military and the private sector.

With the conclusion of the agreement, Dominguez said the deal allows five of the Philippines’ largest banks to book a profit from their written-off loans with Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines.

It also allowed the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, where the shipyard is located, to get a better tenant in Cerberus, Dominguez said.

The Philippine Navy will also get a naval base “with an ideal harbor for its rapidly expanding fleet facing the West Philippine Sea (WPS),” he added.

Many of the displaced workers in the former Hanjin shipyard are retained, while additional jobs averaging about 300 per year from locators and subcontractors will be created, catalyzing growth in Central Luzon and the rest of the country.

“With this development beneficial to all stakeholders, we look forward to a robust shipbuilding and ship repair facility to serve not only our military and coast guard requirements but also the requirements of the private sector,” Dominguez said at the reception.

“I congratulate Cerberus, the Department of Defense of the Philippines, the Philippine Navy, the banks, and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority for striking a deal that will benefit each of the partners and, more importantly, will benefit the Filipino people,” he added.

Also at the reception were several key officials of the Philippine government led by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, among others.

“There are like two months left for the Duterte administration. There is no better finale to all the work done to strengthen the ties with the US than to see the ink on the paper of the biggest public-private partnership in the 75-year history of Philippine-US relations,” Locsin said.

The discussions on the acquisition of the former Hanjin shipyard by Cerberus Frontier began three years ago.

Reuters reported last month that Cerberus acquired the debt-laden shipyard for $300 million.