Hanon Systems’ logo
By Lee Min-hyung
LG, SK and Halla are set to join a bid to take over Hanon Systems, whose estimated market value tops 10 trillion won ($8.86 billion).
According to investment industry insiders, Hahn & Company, the largest shareholder of Hanon Systems, recently submitted an investment prospectus to a group of investors here and abroad.
In Korea, the three companies are known to have qualified for the bid with a view to expanding their presence in the electric vehicle (EV) parts industry. Hanon is a top-tier supplier of automotive thermal and energy solutions systems used for EVs or conventional vehicles powered by internal combustion engines.
LG Group, in particular, is considered one of the most probable candidates to take over the company, as the conglomerate is on track to bet big on the emerging EV market after establishing LG Energy Solution late last year.
SK Group is also widely expected to jump into the race for the takeover, as the company is rapidly increasing its footstep in the global battery industry. SK Innovation, the battery-manufacturing affiliate of the group, is pushing to establish a joint venture with Ford for EV battery cell production.
Halla Group is also emerging as a potential investor to join the bid, as the company has expressed repeated willingness to regain Hanon, formerly Halla Visteon Climate Control Corp. But as the level of the bidding price comes as a financial burden to the group, chances are the company will form a consortium with other investors.
None of Korea’s private equity firms are known to have received the prospectus from Hahn & Company. Preliminary bidding for the deal could take place as early as mid-June.
Hanon Systems’ major partners include global automakers such as Hyundai Motor, Kia, Ford and Volkswagen. The company operates more than 50 manufacturing facilities around the world, including the United States, Europe and China.