Hanwha Group (Seoul) on Friday announced a major management reshuffle naming Kim Chang-bum, currently Hanwha Advanced Materials’ president, as the new CEO of Hanwha Chemical. He will replace Bang Han-hong, starting next month. Hanwha has also appointed Lee Sun-seok, currently managing director of automotive materials division, as CEO of Hanwha Advanced Materials.
The management shuffle came two days after Hanwha signed a deal with Samsung Group to acquire the latter’s four chemical and defense units for 1.9 trillion South Korean won ($1.7 billion). “We decided to appoint those who have deep understanding and knowledge of their fields of business to better cope with the increasingly uncertain market conditions. The new CEOs are all proven to be capable of successfully leading an organization. They have performed exceptionally at their previous positions and are expected to do the same at the new posts,” Hanwha said in a statement.
Kim Chang-bum was credited for transforming Hanwha Advanced Materials into one of Korea’s leading materials manufacturers. He will be in charge of ensuring a smooth acquisition of Samsung’s chemical affiliates – Samsung Total Petrochemicals and Samsung General Chemicals. Hanwha is acquiring Samsung Techwin, Samsung Thales, Samsung Total Petrochemicals and Samsung General Chemicals in a deal expected to be completed by the first half of next year. The acquisition will make the chaebol the country’s leading petrochemical company, with annual revenue of more than won18 trillion.
The acquisition expands Hanwha’s ethylene capacity to 2.91 million m.t./year, making it the ninth largest ethylene producer in the world. As a result, the group can achieve economies of scale through bulk purchases of naphtha feedstock, the company says. Hanwha’s portfolio will also be diversified from the existing ethylene and derivatives to polypropylene, para-xylene, and styrene, as well as diesel and jet fuel.
By Natasha Alperowicz