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HHI deal receives Kazakhstan nod

Oct 30,2019
The antitrust authority of Kazakhstan approved the takeover by Hyundai Heavy Industries of Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), Hyundai Heavy said Tuesday.

This is the first approval granted by as antitrust authority for the deal, which could create the world’s largest shipbuilder.

The proposed merger is subject to approval by multiple antitrust authorities, as they determine whether the deal harms the market. Currently, the transaction is under review by Korea’s Fair Trade Commission as well as antitrust authorities in China, Japan, the European Union and Singapore. If any of the authorities veto the deal, it could fall apart.

“The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approval from relevant competition authorities,” a spokesperson from Hyundai Heavy said. “We are making utmost efforts to win the approval.”

While EU is known for tough antitrust regulations, Hyundai Heavy said it is “maintaining a constructive dialogue with the EU competition authority as part of the ‘pre-notification period’” in a statement Tuesday.

Hyundai Heavy is planning on submitting an application for the main assessment in coming weeks.

According to data from shipbuilding market tracker Clarksons Research last month, Hyundai Heavy Industries, ranked first in the world in terms of order backlog as of August, while DSME ranked fourth.

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]