GS E&C gears up for new biz, acquires 3 modular construction firms overseas

2020.01.22 15:11:53 | 2020.01.22 15:12:26

Huh Yoon-hong, president of GS E&C (left), and Jacek Siwicki, President of Danwood parent company Enterprise Investor, at an event held at Danwood headquarters in Białystok, Poland on Jan. 20, 2020. [Photo offered by GS E&C]이미지 확대

Huh Yoon-hong, president of GS E&C (left), and Jacek Siwicki, President of Danwood parent company Enterprise Investor, at an event held at Danwood headquarters in Białystok, Poland on Jan. 20, 2020. [Photo offered by GS E&C]

South Korea’s GS Engineering and Construction Corp. (GS E&C) has acquired three foreign modular construction firms, speeding up its foray into the global housing construction market under the new leadership led by Huh Yoon-hong, president of its new business division.

GS E&C announced Tuesday it signed a contract to acquire Poland-based prefabricated house manufacturer Danwood for 180 billion won ($154 million) from private equity fund Enterprise Investors (EI).

Danwood delivered 350 billion won in revenue for full 2019, ranking fourth in Germany’s modular market. It boasts nearly 150 modular designs with Danish styles and automated manufacturing lines that can reduce the cost.

Last week, GS E&C has finalized a deal to take over British modular construction firm Elements Europe, which has built many multi-story residential buildings with modular construction.

The company is also in talks with another prefab house supplier based in the U.S. to sign an acquisition deal by next month. The modular construction market is fast growing not only in advanced markets but also in Korea due to aging workers, higher labor costs and stricter environmental regulations.

GS E&C aims to increase its presence in the overseas market by creating synergy through the latest acquisition. Last month GS E&C advanced into India’s solar power plant market and is planning to establish a lithium-ion battery recycling plant in Pohang, Korea by 2022. It is also readying to start elevator manufacturing and asset management business within the first half of this year.

GS E&C’s new business division is now headed by Huh Yoon-hong, who was promoted to the current position last month. Huh is often mentioned as one of the founding family`s fourth-generation leaders who will oversee GS Group as son of Huh Chang-soo, who stepped down as the group chief in December. The leadership then was handed over to his younger brother Huh Tae-soo, vice chairman and chief executive of GS Home Shopping Inc.

By Choi Jae-won and Lee Ha-yeon

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