|Huh Yoon-hong, president of New Business of GS E&C takes picture with Jacek Siwicki, the president of Enterprise Investors, after the signing ceremony for the acquisition of Danwood held at Danwood headquarters in Poland, Monday, local time./ Courtesy of GS Engineering & Construction.|
By Jung Hae-myoung
GS Engineering & Construction is aggressively targeting global construction market by acquiring three prefabrication companies in the U.S. and in Europe.
Huh Yoon-hong, the president of new business at GS E&C, signed a contract for the acquisition of Danwood at Danwood S.A. headquarters located in Białystok, Poland, Jan. 21. The ceremony was participated in by Jacek Siwicki, the president of Enterprise Investor, and Jaroslaw Jurak, CEO of Danwood. The acquisition cost for Danwood is 180 billion won.
On Jan. 16, GS E&C also took over Elements Europe Ltd., a company based in England specialized in prefabricated modular buildings, and is planning to take over another in the U.S. for which a contract will be signed next month.
According to GS E&C, prefabrication companies sprung up in developed countries where manpower is limited and wages are high, but the market is also getting big in Korea, with its aging population and decreasing workforce.
"Although transportation difficulties and different system made it difficult for the company to enter the global market, we plan to become proactive in targeting markets in Europe and the U.S. through these acquisitions," a GS official said.
Danwood is a Polish company specialized in manufacturing timber frame houses and is fourth in modular house sales in Germany. Its main strength is cost competitiveness through automation and owning 150 different kinds of patented design blueprints. With the main market based in Germany, the U.K, Austria and Switzerland, the company will expand to Scandinavia including Sweden and Norway.
Elements Europe Ltd, is a company that built various buildings in England using prefabrication and the core preceding method.
According to GS E&C, the U.S. company that it will join hands with, is also specialized in prefabricated steel frames and construction through building information modeling. It is currently based around the East Coast and is building a skyscraper hotel in New York.
"GS Engineering & Construction has made a strong base for its next step through change and innovation in the midst of fast changing business operating environment," President Huh said. "Through synergy between the acquired companies, we will try to enhance our position in the global prefabrication market."