Hyundai Heavy seeks IPO of lucrative refinery this year

By Lim Chang-won Posted : April 16, 2018, 17:15 Updated : April 16, 2018, 17:15

[Courtesy of Hyundai Heavy Industries]

SEOUL -- Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipbuilding group, will try to make an initial public offering of its lucrative refinery, Hyundai Oilbank, this year in an effort to raise funds for group-wide restructuring.

Last year, the shipbuilding group spun off non-shipbuilding operations. Hyundai Robotics was separated and renamed as the group's holding company for non-shipbuilding units so that the shipyard in the southeastern city of Ulsan can focus on shipbuilding and engine making.

Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings Chairman Kwon Oh-gap said Monday that Hyundai Oilbank's IPO would be made in September or October. The refinery will seek "a new business" through a joint venture, he said, declining to disclose details.

"The Hyundai Heavy Industries Group will be reborn as a company with the best competitiveness by overcoming current difficulties," Kwon said, vowing to achieve some 70 trillion (65.2 billion US dollars) in sales by 2022, compared to 37 trillion won in 2017.

The group will focus on value-added ships such as liquefied natural gas carriers and new businesses backed by advanced technologies, he said, suggesting a large research and development center manned by up to 7,000 people would be set up in 2021 in Pangyo, a state-sponsored technology hub south of Seoul.

"We will establish a research and development center in Pangyo in order to become a company respected for its advanced technology and high quality," Kwon said, suggesting the group will be able to recover its glory as the world's largest shipbuilder in 2020.

Hyundai Heavy and other domestic shipyards have been put under painful restructuring to reduce their debt. South Korea's creditor-controlled shipping company Hyundai Merchant Marine started sending out orders for 20 giant container ships this month as part of a government scheme to rehabilitate domestic shipbuilders.
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