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Hankook to Secure the Management Rights of Hanon Systems

Hankook to secure a share of 50.53% through the acquisition of an additional stake in Hanon Systems worth £1 billion.

Hankook’s Acquisition of Hanon Systems Accelerates Transformation into a High-Tech Company

Hankook & Company Group is accelerating its transformation into a global high-tech company with the acquisition of an additional stake in Hanon Systems, the world’s second-largest automotive thermal and energy management solutions company. The acquisition, which will be executed through Hankook Tire & Technology (Hankook Tire), will be completed by the end of the year. The move is expected to expand the group to become one of the top 30 companies in Korea.

On 3 May 2024, Hankook Tire, a core business subsidiary of Hankook & Company Group, held a board of directors meeting where the company resolved to acquire private equity (PE) firm Hahn & Company’s 25% stake in Hanon Systems and 12.2% of new shares to be issued through a capital increase for a total of KRW 1.733 trillion (£1 billion) and signed the Hanon Systems Investment memorandum of understanding (MOU).

Upon completion of the acquisition, Hankook & Company Group will hold a 50.53% stake in Hanon Systems and take management rights as the largest shareholder. The group previously acquired a 19.49% stake in Hanon Systems in 2014 for KRW 1.08 trillion (£623.3 million). With this additional stake, the group will have invested a total of KRW 2.8 trillion (£1.616 billion) in the acquisition of Hanon Systems.

Hankook & Company Group’s acquisition of Hanon Systems is the culmination of a future growth strategy stemming from Chairman Hyunbum Cho’s anticipation of the electric vehicle era nearly a decade ago. From the time Chairman Cho first acquired a stake in Hanon Systems (formerly Halla Visteon Climate Control) in 2014, he envisioned Hankook’s role as a game-changer in the era of the electrification of mobility. He conceived a next-generation business model that combines global top-tier tyre and automotive thermal management system (TMS) technologies.

Throughout the past decade, Chairman Cho has recognised and valued the unique technology and growth potential of Hanon Systems. He opted against acquiring the company through methods such as the temporary large-scale investment of funds to secure equity and take over management – an approach commonly taken by existing conglomerates and private equity funds.

Instead, Hankook & Company Group has minimised the risk of acquisition by thoroughly verifying the fundamentals of Hanon Systems’ technology, management strategy and corporate culture over a period of time. By combining this with the group’s growth DNA, Hankook & Company Group has developed a differentiated strategy to foster Hanon Systems as a key company of the electric vehicle era.

With the acquisition of Hanon Systems, Hankook & Company Group will gain the momentum to accelerate its dynamic future growth in both quantitative and qualitative terms. The group will become a leading high-tech company in future mobility by acquiring core components related to electric vehicles, including tyres, batteries, and TMS.

Hankook’s iON, the industry’s first full lineup of tyres designed specifically for electric vehicles, has become the world’s leading electric vehicle tyre brand since its launch in 2022. Hanon Systems is also significantly expanding its partnerships with key electric vehicle brands based on its industry-leading electric vehicle TMS technology. By working with TMS solutions alongside its tyre products, which have been a significant driver of the group’s growth, Hankook Tire is expected to further strengthen its business portfolio.

Hankook & Company Group plans to finalise the acquisition by year-end, pending the completion of all requisite procedures. Upon finalisation, Hankook & Company Group’s total global assets are forecasted to reach around KRW 26 trillion (£15.006 billion), positioning it among South Korea’s top 30 companies.

“Through the acquisition of Hanon Systems’ management rights, Hankook & Company Group will become a provider of crucial technology for the electric vehicle era, including TMS technology and tyres for automobiles,” Chairman Cho stated. “Hankook & Company Group is targeting sales of KRW 30 trillion (£17.314 billion) by 2030 by expanding additional businesses based on next-generation technology beyond the automotive industry.”

Hanon Systems is considered the world’s second-largest company in TMS for electric vehicles, from complete design to C-parts supply. It leads the electric vehicle TMS solution market and is predicted to experience a high level of growth by securing technological competitiveness in fields such as electric compressors, refrigerant and coolant integrated modules, and TMS which efficiently manage the battery performance of electric vehicles.

In 2023, Hanon Systems recorded sales of KRW 9.5593 trillion (£5.517 billion). It operates 53 production locations across 21 countries as well as three technology innovation centres. The company is deeply engaged in continuous research and development and has made substantial progress in the electric compressor and heat pump technologies vital to electric vehicles. Utilising the industry’s top technological expertise, the company is consistently expanding its partnerships with leading global automakers such as Hyundai Motor Group, Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz.

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