Europe puts Hyundai Heavy’s merger with DSME in jeopardy

Hyundai Heavy Industries’ (HHI) planned takeover of compatriot Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea is now in jeopardy with the European Commission set to start a full investigation into the merger with anti-monopoly concerns growing.

Reuters is reporting that Europe is following Singapore in raising antitrust concerns over the merger, which would create a shipbuilder commanding more than one fifth of the global orderbook.

The European Commission will launch an investigation into the deal next week, Reuters reports, following a preliminary review which ends next Tuesday.

European yards have a long history of fighting what they claim is state aid that has backed up Korean yards over the years.

“A full-scale investigation can take up to five months and in most cases ends with companies forced to sell off assets or transfer technology or contracts to rivals to address competition concerns,” Reuters reported.

DSME and HHI merging comes at a time where China’s top two shipbuilding groups – CSIC and CSSC – have merged. These two giant mergers could create far more “belligerent pricing” for newbuilds in the future, William Fairclough, the managing director of Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings, told delegates attending the Maritime CEO Forum in Hong Kong last month.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. I wonder why the EU raises concerns on S.Korean merger and says nothing about China consolidation of a huge state owned builder.
    Cruise yards consolidation is undergoing in the EU as weel and it would be good in the long run to counter the power of competitors that will raise in other continents.
    Competition in some markets is on continent level, like it or not, but someone in the EU is too blind to see …..

  2. It seems to be to late anyway to avoid to establish giants of companies who are than able to dictate within of the branch they do exist. To keep competition alive is mandatory for a healthy communally system. The officials did sleep well due to our system already suffers on the economical influence given by few very big companies.

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