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Hyundai Targets Technology M&A with $900 Million Investment Fund

M&A for new technologies Hyundai
(file photo)

By The Maritime Executive 03-24-2021 04:12:28

In its efforts to accelerate its position in new technologies and maintain its competitive positioning, the parent company of South Korea’s largest shipbuilder, Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings Co., announced that it will be working with Korea’s sovereign wealth fund to target investments and acquisitions of developing technology companies. The focus will both be on adding new technologies in its shipbuilding operations as well as expanding other business areas.

HHIH and Korea Investment Corp. have agreed to jointly invest nearly $900 million into a fund dedicated to developing business relationships. They will be targeting developing technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, remote autonomous ships, and hydrogen fuel cells, all of which would be used to enhance the next generation of ships and in the shipbuilding processes. In addition to the shipping sector, HHIH is also developing self-driving vehicle technology, digital healthcare, and healthcare data solutions. They will also continue to seek opportunities in these fields are well as other emerging technologies.

Korea’s Pulse media reported that Chung Ki-sun, HHI Holdings vice president, said at the signing ceremony held today: “I hope the MOU would serve as the first step for HHI Holdings to realize the new businesses that it has been promoting so far.” 

Hyundai has been moving aggressively to counter the growing competition primarily from the Chinese shipbuilders. The company is continuing to await regulatory approval for its proposed acquisition of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co.  

A week ago, its Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering unit announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with South Korea’s Doosan Fuel Cell Company, which is developing stationary fuel cells for the Korean power industry. The two companies will work together on the research and development of a solid oxide fuel cell for maritime and offshore applications.

HHIH plans to use the network of the sovereign wealth fund to identify emerging companies and technologies which can be used to enhance its competitive advantage and create future growth both within the shipbuilding and other sectors of its business.