US-based Cerberus acquires Hanjin shipyard in Subic Bay

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 22) — United States-based private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management has completed its takeover of the shipyard previously run by Hanjin Philippines in Subic Bay with the recent conclusion of agreements on the facility, government officials confirmed.

"The completion of the Subic Bay shipyard will redound to benefits for the country, bring jobs to the local communities, increase economic activity, and at the same fortify our strategic security measure," Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez was quoted as saying in a press release early Friday morning.

Manila's embassy in Washington said Romualdez made the remarks during a diplomatic reception on Apr. 19. The envoy also expressed his appreciation to officials of both countries along with executives of Cerberus for their efforts, which led to the conclusion of the deals.

"Great to see the completion of the acquisition of Hanjin shipyard in Subic Bay by a U.S.-based firm. An important example of U.S.-Philippine public-private partnership," Ely Ratner, U.S. assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, tweeted on Thursday.

Cerberus co-founder and co-chief executive officer Steve Feinberg also recognized the support offered by both the Philippine and American governments in ensuring the agreements' completion, said the embassy.

"Working with the United States on this project will help ensure that we are able to protect our interests not only for our country but the whole region," Romualdez said.

The facility at the former giant U.S. naval base has caught the attention of Chinese investors given its strategic location near the West Philippine Sea.

Details of the purchase, including the price, were not disclosed. Reuters reported last month that Cerberus was buying the debt-laden shipyard for $300 million.

Foreign Affairs chief Teddyboy Locsin called the transaction the "biggest public-private partnership in the 75-year history of Philippine-US relations."