Seoul: Souuth Korean steel giant POSCO swapped stakes on 30 April with Hyundai Heavy industries, the world’s largest shipyard, to strengthen its defences against any hostile takeover.
The world’s third largest steelmaker has engaged in cross-shareholding deals with friendly firms since it emerged as a possible target for a takeover by Arcelor Mittal, the world’s biggest steelmaker.
On 30 April Hyundai Heavy’s subsidiary Hyundai Mipo bought a 1.0% stake in POSCO worth 343 billion won ($369 million). In return, POSCO bought a 1.9% stake in Hyundai Heavy.
“The deal, which was completed on 30 April, will help POSCO step up its defences to thwart any hostile takeover attempt,” a POSCO official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
POSCO, 59% owned by foreign investors, counts Japan’s Nippon Steel, the world’s second largest steelmaker, as its biggest shareholder and ally.
Arcelor Mittal and POSCO are jostling to meet rapidly growing Asian demand led by China and India. Mittal acquired rival Arcelor of Luxembourg last year to create the world’s largest steel group.