Lee Young-kwan, Chairman & CEO of Toray Advanced Materials Korea (TAK), revealed his aspiration that he will increase TAK’s competitive advantage in the water treatment business through the acquisition of Woongjin Chemical so that the company can compete in the international market. And he flatly denied the speculation on Woongjin’s technology leakage.
During a press conference held in Lotte Hotel Seoul in October 7, Chairman & CEO Lee commented, “Some in the press say that our takeover of Woongjin Chemical will lead to its technology leakage, but it is simply not true. On the contrary, Woongjin will be helped by our company,” adding, “At the moment, it is difficult to use Woongjin's purification facilities even if a domestic construction company obtains an order for a water treatment plant project.”
He continued by saying, “Woongjin has Reverse Osmosis (RO) membrane technology, but so does our company. On top of that, we have the world's best technology in ultra filters, microfiltration membranes, and nanofiltration membranes. So, we can improve Woongjin’s international competitiveness.” He added, “If we make filters in Korea, Korean construction firms will use ours.”
TAK’s recent proposal of 430 billion won (US$400 million) for the purchase of Woongjin Chemical has increased the possibility that it will be selected as a preferred bidder. The possibility of Toray as a successful bidder ignited the controversy surrounding technology leakage for a national project on RO membranes, where Woongjin was in charge. In response, TAK said that the company’s legal advisors found no serious problems.
Meanwhile, Toray’s Chairman & CEO remarked, “SK Chemicals’ entry in the Poly Phenylene Sulfide (PPS) market, in partnership with Japan’s major chemical company Teijin, didn’t influence our decision. We will make investment as planned. In fact, we are thinking about more investment.”