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DSME board approves new directors, new name after acquisition gets green light

The board of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) approved the new directors recommended by Hanwha and a company name change on Monday after a Korean antitrust regulator gave the green light to a proposed acquisition of the shipbuilder by Hanwha companies.

 In a Monday board meeting, May 23 was set as the date for a shareholders meeting to finalize the items on the agenda, including changing the name to Hanwha Ocean. Hanwha has already submitted the name to the Korean Intellectual Property Office for trademarking.

 The shareholder meeting will also approve the appointment of nine new directors and auditors, including three internal directors, one non-executive director and five external directors.

Hanwha nominated Kwon Hyek-woong, vice president of Hanwha’s Support Division, as the new head of DSME. Kwon, known for his expertise in energy, received a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from KAIST and previously served as CEO of Hanwha TotalEnergies Petrochemical from 2018 until 2020. He has been leading the DSME acquisition team since in September last year.

 Two former Hanwha executives, Kim Jong-seo, former CEO of Hanwha TotalEnergies Petrochemical, and Jung In-sub, former CEO of Hanwha Energy, have also been recommended as internal director candidates.

Kim Dong-kwan, Hanwha Corporation vice chairman, was named the non-executive director.

 “Kim’s participation as a board member is to support the rapid normalization of DSME’s management and expansion into overseas markets,” Hanwha explained.

 Recommended external director candidates include Rhee Shin-hyung, president of the Society of Naval Architects of Korea; Hyun Nak-hee, professor at Sungkyunkwan University Law School; George P. Bush, a partner at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP and nephew of former U.S. President George W. Bush; Kim Jae-ik, former CEO of KDB Infrastructure Investment Asset Management; and Kim Bong-hwan, professor at Seoul National University Graduate School of Public Administration.

 DSME will be re-launched with a new management team and name after all remaining procedures are completed at the shareholder meeting on May 23.

 The agenda items approved by the board of directors on Monday are expected to be approved at the shareholder meeting.

 Also on May 23, there will be a 2-trillion-won ($1.5 billion) rights offering, with five Hanwha affiliates, including Hanwha Aerospace, together acquiring 49.3 percent of DSME’s shares through a paid-in capital increase.

 Hanwha’s acquisition and DSME received approval from Korea’s Fair Trade Commission last month on the condition that the parties won’t engage in anticompetitive behavior in military shipbuilding, getting a nod from all necessary antitrust authorities.


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