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[Newsmaker] Hyundai Heavy readies to become first-mover for eco-friendly ships via W1.08tr IPO

Hyundai Heavy Industries CEO Han Young-seuk speaks at an online briefing with reporters Thursday. (YouTube screen capture)
Hyundai Heavy Industries CEO Han Young-seuk speaks at an online briefing with reporters Thursday. (YouTube screen capture)
Hyundai Heavy Industries announced a blueprint to usher in a paradigm shift in the global shipbuilding industry of its planned market debut on the South Korean main board Kospi on Sept. 16.

The major shipbuilder here unveiled its vision of being a first mover for eco-friendly ships during an online press conference with reporters Thursday, while also detailing specific plans for its initial public offering.

“Developing eco-friendly and digitalized vessels, constructing smart shipyards and investing in hydrogen infrastructure in the ocean are our three key businesses to achieve the vision,” said Han Young-seuk, chief executive officer of Hyundai Heavy Industries.

Of the 1.08 trillion won ($930.5 million) in IPO proceeds that the company aims to raise, about 760 billion won will be used for preemptive investments in future technologies. It is a part of the firm’s effort to pivot to environmental, social and governance-led businesses, the chief said.

The shipbuilder seeks to maximize its profitability through high-value vessels such as hydrogen-fueled ships and ammonia-powered ships, and concentrating on electric power solutions. It also looks to advance digitalized ship technologies to accelerate its entry into the autonomous navigation market.

Building smart shipyards for safe and effective production by 2030 and expanding investments in green hydrogen production and hydrogen transportation infrastructure to get a foothold in the marine hydrogen infrastructure market are part of their additional plans, according to the CEO.

Based on its solid financial status, the 49-year-old company acquired a competitive edge in winning shipbuilding orders. It signed $8.6 billion worth of deals to build 59 ships as of end-July, exceeding its yearly target by 20 percent.

Last month, Hyundai Heavy also signed a 1.65 trillion-won order for eight methanol-fueled container ships with Maersk Line as well. It was the very first deal that the world’s biggest container shipping firm made globally, the CEO said.

“Next year marks our 50th anniversary. We vow to put consistent efforts for our future through the IPO. We’ll further secure our position as the shipbuilding industry’s No. 1 company in the next 50 years as well.”

The shipbuilder looks to float 18 million common shares on the stock market in the price range of 52,000-60,000 won apiece. The exact share price will be determined Monday after wrapping up the book-building process on Friday. The two-day retail tranche is scheduled to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, while Mirae Asset Securities, Korea Investment & Securities and Credit Suisse Securities are the lead underwriters.

Hyundai Heavy was spun off into two entities -- Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, a subholding company of Hyundai Heavy Industries Group and KSOE’s wholly owned entity -- in mid-2019. The decision was made as the group planned to acquire Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.

Meanwhile, more blockbuster IPO deals are awaiting to launch in the latter half this year. Kakao Pay looks to make its market debut next month after a two-month delay, while domestic luxury handbag maker Simone Acc. Collection is also preparing for its listing in the same month. K-car (formerly SK Encar), video game developer Netmarble Neo and Hyundai Motor Group’s plant engineering arm Hyundai Engineering are also in the queue.

By Jie Ye-eun (