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US shipyard buy sparks suspicions in Philippines

In a significant strategic purchase, US private equity firm Cerberus will buy the debt-ridden Hanjin Subic Shipyard in a former US navy base in the Philippines for US$300 million.

The Subic shipyard is considered strategically important because of its deep-water harbor and access to the South China Sea. Until 1992, it hosted the US Naval Base Subic, one of the largest overseas US military bases. 

The deal will reportedly be finalized on April 15 after a long and tenuous process that saw at least eight foreign companies interested in acquiring the shipyard, including Austal from Australia and two unidentified Chinese firms.