SEOUL/ULSAN, May 31 (Yonhap) -- Shareholders of Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. on Friday approved the company's split-up plan ahead of a proposed merger with a smaller local shipbuilder amid fierce opposition from its labor union.
The split is the first step in the process of Hyundai Heavy's planned merger with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. They are the world's two leading shipyards.
In March, the country's biggest shipbuilder signed a deal worth an estimated 2 trillion won (US$1.6 billion) with the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) to acquire Daewoo Shipbuilding, in which the KDB holds a controlling 55.7 percent stake.
"The split-up plan is aimed at enhancing Hyundai Heavy's capabilities and value through the merger with Daewoo Shipbuilding and leapfrogging forward once again," Hyundai Heavy President and Chief Executive Han Young-seuk said at a shareholders meeting held in Ulsan, home to Hyundai Heavy's shipyards.