Samsung Heavy Industries looks set to take over management of fellow Korean yard, Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering for a minimum of five years with options for three more years. Samsung Heavy is hammering out the final details of the takeover with Sungdong’s lead creditor, the Export-Import Bank of Korea. Sungdong could be rebranded as Samsung Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.
For Samsung, which has focused on offshore, LNG and large boxships, taking over Sungdong would allow it to broaden its product mix by offering more standard commercial ship types – a useful diversification at a time when offshore construction has been burning a severe hole in Samsung’s bottom line.
The move is also very much in line with Seoul’s ambition to slimline the number of Korean shipbuilding companies.
Sungdong graduated from block building to ships around a decade ago, pioneering onland construction and becoming a top 10 yard worldwide before tough times hit.