Hanwha Group takes lead with sustainable-growth initiative

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Hanwha Group takes lead with sustainable-growth initiative


Kim Seung-youn

Hanwha Group said yesterday that it will take the lead in achieving sustainable and shared growth with small and midsized enterprises and that it will pull out or merge businesses that stifle competition with SMEs by 2014.

The nation’s ninth-largest conglomerate, led by Chairman Kim Seung-youn, plans to terminate a total of eight affiliates, including three that will be merged or sold by January 2012.

The company announced plans to sell its two real estate development affiliates, Daedeok Techno Valley and Dangjin Technopolis. Additionally, Hanwha will amalgamate subsidiaries Prudential Investment & Securities and Cheongnyangni Station Development Co., which will merge with Hanwha Securities and Hanwha Station Development Co., respectively.

To achieve sustainable growth with its subcontractors, Hanwha Group will create a 300 billion won ($252 million) shared-growth fund by the end of this year.

Hanwha plans to use the fund to cut production costs and raise production efficiency for its subcontractors.

Hanwha will also launch what it calls a “sunshine campaign” in which it will invest 15 billion won to install solar panels on some 500 social welfare centers across the country over the next 10 years.

The company will also invest a separate 50 billion won to establish a social welfare foundation next year to give free medical treatment to low-income households.

This isn’t the first time that Hanwha has tried to achieve shared growth with small and midsize enterprises.

In June, the company announced that it would pull out of its profitable maintenance, repair and operation business unit, Hanwha S&C, and is awaiting government approval.

Hanwha Group was the first chaebol to make such an announcement, and other conglomerates, including SK Group and Samsung Group, have followed suit.

Originally founded in 1952 as a explosives company, Hanwha Group now has 50 affiliates engaged in solar energy, chemical manufacturing, construction, finance, retail and leisure businesses.

By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

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