Hanwha Aerospace to spin off industrial solutions businesses from defence

South Korea’s Hanwha Aerospace said that it will spin off its semiconductor equipment and video surveillance businesses, carving out units that contributed about 16% to revenue in favour of focusing on its flagship defence division.

Hanwha Aerospace said it will spin off chip equipment maker Hanwha Precision Machinery and surveillance camera maker Hanwha Vision, with the two businesses eventually merging into a single industrial solutions company.

That new entity would be worth about 2 trillion won ($1.48 billion), while the defence business would be worth 10 trillion won, showed estimates from Shinhan Securities.

“This will help us overcome the valuation discount due to the mixture of defence business and Hanwha Vision, Hanwha Precision Machinery,” Hanwha Aerospace said in a conference call explaining the plan.

“Hanwha Precision’s high-growth chip equipment business can expand with solid cash flow from Hanwha Vision,” including developing equipment used to make high-bandwidth memory (HBM) chips used in artificial intelligence (AI) chipsets, it said.

Hanwha Aerospace said it will continue to develop its defence business spanning land, sea, air and space with shipbuilder Hanwha Ocean and network system provider Hanwha Systems.

The spin-off is in line with Hanwha Group’s effort to streamline its flagship defence business which will be the focus of Hanwha Aerospace, whose history began with aircraft parts.

Noteworthy, South Korea seeks to become the world’s fourth-largest defence exporter by 2027.

Its biggest deal – agreed with Poland in 2022 to deliver weapons including 672 K9 howitzers – involved Hanwha Aerospace.

The spin-off will make it easier to pursue defence business growth strategies, analysts said.

The conglomerate is working to expand its defence business, with Hanwha Ocean attempting to acquire Australian shipbuilder Austal, which designs, builds and maintains ships for the U.S. Navy.

The spin-off will also streamline governance structure to ease succession for the heirs of the conglomerate’s current chairman, analysts said.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/markets/asia/hanwha-aerospace-spin-off-semiconductor-equipment-unit-2024-04-05/