The world’s largest shipbuilder, Hyundai Heavy Industries, is to be split into four separate companies in an attempt to weather the downturn in demand and relatively few new orders caused by the shipping industry’s oversupply woes.
Its non-core non-shipbuilding businesses will be separated to improve profitability; being split into three companies covering electrical systems, construction equipment and robotics.
All three new businesses will float on the stock market, with Hyundai expecting the split to be completed by April 1, 2017.
This rescue plan has been expected for some time, after the IMF claimed that restructuring the South Korean shipping industry as a whole would cost somewhere in the region of US$27.3 billion. All three of the world’s largest shipbuilders; Hyundai Heavy, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine and Samsung Heavy Industries Co Ltd are based in South Korea, meaning their fortunes weigh heavily on the GDP of the country as a whole.
The news comes just a day after it was announced that Hyundai Merchant Marine had failed in its bid to acquire the assets of defunct-carrier Hanjin, beaten to the punch by Korea Line Corp.