Korean Economy News
Hyundai Heavy Industries’ breakup plan gets ISS endorsement

Moon Ji-woong and Yoon Jin-ho

South Korea’s largest shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. gained traction in its plan to break up into six entities to leave just shipbuilding operation after the spinoff in April with the world’s largest corporate governance adviser giving its thumbs up for the move.

The Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) advised shareholders in Hyundai Heavy Industries to agree to the plan saying it would enhance transparency, which could sway the vote in the shareholders’ meeting on Feb. 27.

The demerger plan is heavily protested by the Ulsan community where the dockyards are based and the labor union.

The ISS, however, warned that voting rights of existing shareholders could be watered down when their stakeholding is appropriated under the 13.4 percent interest in Hyundai Robotics that would act as the holding company to non-shipbuilding units.

Under the spinoff plan, Hyundai Heavy Industries’ treasury shares tantamount to 13.4 percent interest and 91.1 percent stake plus 2 trillion won ($1.8 billion) liabilities in Hyundai Oilbank go to Hyundai Robotics. The balance sheet of remaining shipbuilder would be added with a cash flow of 2 trillion won.

The demerger also would end the cross-sharing connection from Hyundai Heavy Industries to Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries and Hyundai Mipo Dockyard. Hyundai Mipo Dockyard must sell its 8 percent stake in Hyundai Robotics within six months to be completely free of ties with non-shipbuilding units.

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