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IPOs

Hyosung to accelerate asset sales, IPOs to spur growth in hydrogen, data businesses

Kyung-Min Kang Oct 05, 2020 (Gmt+09:00)

Hyosung Group, a South Korean textile and chemicals conglomerate, is accelerating efforts to sell assets and list major subsidiaries on the local bourse to secure funds needed to invest in the hydrogen and data sectors -- its new growth drivers.

According to the investment banking industry on Oct. 4, the group has chosen KB Securities Co. and Daishin Securities Co. as lead managers for the initial public offering of its information technology unit, Hyosung TNS Inc.

Hyosung TNS, an automated teller machine (ATM) maker, is 54.01% owned by Hyosung Corp., the group’s de facto holding company. Group owners, including Chairman Cho Hyun-joon, hold 42.39% of the ATM manufacturer.

“We are pushing for an IPO of Hyosung TNS, but details, including the timing, have yet to be worked out,” said a Hyosung Group source.

Hyosung Group Chairman Cho Hyun-joon
Hyosung TNS posted a record operating profit of 96.5 billion won ($83 million) in 2019 on the back of strong ATM sales in overseas markets.

The expected IPO is part of Hyosung’s funding plans to finance new projects under a group initiative to foster growing business sectors such as hydrogen, carbon fiber manufacturing and data centers as its future growth engines.

FOCUS ON FUTURE GROWTH ENGINES

Last month, the group selected a consortium of Korea Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives (KFCC) and Seoul-based private equity firm STLeaders as the preferred negotiator for a controlling stake in Hyosung Capital Co. worth 400 billion won.

As part of efforts to turn the group into a holding entity structure and abide by government regulations banning a non-financial holding company from owning a financial unit, Hyosung Group must sell Hyosung Capital by the end of 2020.

Industry watchers expect the group to raise as much as 600 billion won through asset sales and additional capital from major subsidiaries’ IPOs.

The group plans to use the proceeds for investment in new growth areas.
Hyosung plant in Ulsan
In April, Group Chairman Cho signed an initial agreement with Linde plc, an American-German chemical firm, to build the world’s largest liquid hydrogen plant, worth 300 billion won, in South Korea.

Hyosung Group affiliates have been spending heavily on hydrogen-related industries.

Hyosung Heavy Industries Corp. operates hydrogen charging stations, and Hyosung Chemical Corp. is engaged in the production and sale of hydrogen. Hyosung Advanced Materials Corp. makes carbon fibers, a key material used in fuel tanks for hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Through its IT affiliates, Hyosung Group also plans to aggressively expand its data center business.

Write to Kyung-Min Kang at kkm1026@hankyung.com

Edited by In-Soo Nam

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