Ulsan, home to the world’s biggest shipbuilder, highlighted that the new company is a genuine head office of Hyundai Heavy Industries, thus the new firm should be headquartered in Ulsan, not Seoul.
The protest comes from the fact that the southeastern industrial city believes that the plan will affect the local economy.
Ulsan Mayor Song Chul-ho stated in a press conference
For the last 46 years, Hyundai Heavy Industries has been headquartered in Ulsan and has grown into a world-class company in various fields, including shipbuilding and robotics. Hyundai Heavy should stay in Ulsan in order to fulfill its corporate social responsibility and take part in fostering balanced regional development.
Despite the above, HHI has planned to approve the new plan at a meeting with its stakeholders on May 31. When the plan gets the green light, HHI and DSME will become subsidiaries of Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering.
The new merging company will be responsible of engineering and investments.
The merger move is the result of HHI signing a deal with the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) in March to buy DSME.
In addition, the new company will have approximately 500 employees.
On the contrary, Mayor Song is opposed to the company's location stating that Ulsan citizens will become anxious, as they are still in the midst of overcoming the sluggish progress of the shipbuilding industry.
HHI responded to Mayor Song
It is unreasonable to say that Hyundai Heavy is reviewing relocation when it is actually our parent company that is looking for a new headquarters spot. We will focus on creating synergy with affiliates and building competitiveness in businesses ranging from shipbuilding to oil refining in the global market