South Korean merger stranded on European fear of expensive tankers

The acquisition of shipbuilder DSME looked like the near-perfect extension of HHI, which, ultimately, became the nail in the coffin for the year-long competition case. In Brussels, prominent people expect the decision to hold up in court – however, the question is whether shareholders are already looking for new buyers.

Photo: Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering/Yonhap

BRUSSELS – On a surface level, it was an obvious acquisition. Almost a match made in heaven.

When South Korean shipbuilders Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) initiated plans to merge, it was two of the world's leading yards measured on transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG) that sought to combine forces. They had the technology, the experience, apparently a strong urge, and a shared market to conquer.

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