South Korean conglomerate Hanwha has finalized its acquisition of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), one of Korea’s “Big Three” shipbuilders, and officially re-launched the shipbuilder under its new name, Hanwha Ocean.
During an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting held Tuesday, Hanwha Ocean was established under its new name Hanwha Ocean Co., Ltd. The meeting also saw the appointment of Hyek Woong Kwon as CEO, along with the addition of nine new board directors. Five affiliates of Hanwha Group, including Hanwha Aerospace, Hanwha Systems, Hanwha Impact Partners, and two subsidiaries of Hanwha Energy, have become major shareholders of Hanwha Ocean, now collectively holding a 49.3% stake valued at $1.5 billion (2 trillion KRW).
For years DSME has faced significant financial troubles amid a decline in the global demand for new ships, especially in the offshore oil and gas industry dating back to 2015. High labor costs, cost overruns, and delivery delays have added to its financial strain, resulting in severe liquidity problems for the shipbuilder that ultimately required government assistance, including intervention from state-owned Korea Development Bank (KDB) which had taken on a significant stake in the shipbuilder. KDB now maintains only a minority stake.
Hanwha Ocean aims to focus on producing advanced technology and sustainable solutions for the maritime industry.
“With their numerous strengths, the employees at Hanwha Ocean have built the company into a world-class leader at Okpo Bay, while Hanwha has a robust track record of delivering growth in key business areas by creating synergy and amplifying the strengths of newly acquired companies,” said Hanwha Ocean CEO Hyek Woong Kwon. “Leveraging Hanwha Ocean’s foundational culture of pursuing technological excellence, we aim to become a globally competitive company that delivers steady growth with a focus on sustainable and eco-friendly technology.”
Vice Chairman of Hanwha Group, Dong Kwan Kim, expressed support for Hanwha Ocean’s rapid expansion and encouraged the company to become a leading marine energy solutions provider through responsible management and advanced human resource development.
With the launch of Hanwha Ocean, the company plans to expand Hanwha’s green energy ecosystem by concentrating on eco-friendly and digital technology. In addition to its expertise in commercial ships such as LNG carriers, the company will work on developing low- and zero-carbon solutions to support the maritime industry’s energy transition. Hanwha Ocean will leverage Hanwha’s strengths in transportation, materials, and energy to create new synergies and expand its markets.
Formerly known as DSME, Hanwha Ocean is a leading global company in the shipbuilding and offshore industry. With a strong track record in producing competitive LNG carriers equipped with eco-friendly and highly efficient technology, the company has been at the forefront of pioneering new businesses since 1973. Hanwha Ocean will play a key role in developing advanced marine solutions for decarbonization and further expanding Hanwha’s green energy ecosystem to create positive and sustainable change worldwide.
Hanwha Group, founded in 1952, has experienced rapid growth in areas such as energy and materials, aerospace, finance, and retail and services. It is currently the seventh-largest business in South Korea and a Fortune Global 500 company.
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