Hyundai Heavy shareholders vote in favour of DSME merger

Despite fierce opposition from its workforce all week, shareholders in Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the world’s largest shipbuilder, voted in favour today splitting the company into a holding firm and its shipbuilding operations, as part of plans to merge with compatriot Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) – a consolidation that would see the Korean megayard hold a 21.2% marketshare of the global orderbook.

Workers at both HHI and DSME have strongly opposed the merger, fearful of further job losses. Around 30,000 workers have been laid off from both yards over the past four years. Today’s shareholder vote took place with heavy police protection in place after violent scenes all week between workers and top management at HHI’s headquarters in Ulsan.

The merger must now pass anti-anti-monopoly reviews at home and across the world, with both China and the European Union expected to raise concerns.

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.
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