When news hit that the Hanwah Group, Seoul, was purchasing Samsung’s video surveillance unit, industry tongues started wagging — what would become of Samsung Techwin once the sale became finalized? To quell any rumors, Samsung Techwin America held a press conference via conference call for industry trade journalists. Thomas Cook, vice president of sales for North America at Samsung Techwin, assured all on the call that everything is going to remain status quo for Samsung Techwin’s North American operations, including the Samsung name.
“Obviously when news comes out about (transactions like this), human nature is to become nervous and say, ‘What is happening, what is going on?’ Our sales people, integrators, customers and end users have all been contacted on an ongoing basis over the past two weeks to make sure they understand our commitment and that the branding will continue,” said Cook.
“We have always been Samsung Techwin, which is a publicly traded company separate from Samsung Electronics. All of our R&D, all of our manufacturing is done under Samsung Techwin facilities. It will continue to be Samsung Techwin facilities — manufacturing, R&D, product planning, sales and marketing. That won’t change,” Cook stated. “This is more of a financial transaction.”
Hanwha Group purchased a 32.4 percent stake in Samsung Techwin, and Cook reported that he did not have, nor was he given, a reason behind Samsung’s decision to sell its shares to Hanwha. The massive conglomerate is one of the largest in South Korea.
Hanwha Group operates global subsidiaries in manufacturing and construction, finance and insurance, services and leisure, and other industries. Whatever the plans Hanwha has, it is business as usual at Samsung Techwin — in negotiations it was agreed that Samsung Techwin and Samsung Electronics would continue their current partnerships.
Cook stated, “This is basically an umbrella-changing stock transaction. As far as the partnership with Samsung Electronics, we will continue our partnership with Samsung Electronics in technology from the standpoint of working together on joint projects including marketing and sales. The Samsung brand will continue and we will produce all our products under Samsung.”
In a statement, Hanwha Group said it plans to focus on advancing next-generation defense technology being developed by Samsung Techwin.
“Samsung Techwin is divided up into multiple divisions — defense, machinery, building automation and security. Hanwha Group is looking to invest and grow all of those divisions, more so the defense as mentioned in some articles, but security is a critical part of the defense technologies,” said Cook. “Many of our core competencies are taken from our division and brought into military and vice versa. The technologies are shared and we see that Hanwha Group is looking to invest even more so to grow these businesses.”
Samsung Techwin knows about growth; in fact, Cook stated that Samsung Techwin has shown substantial growth in the North American market. “Our growth has been phenomenal over the last two-and-a-half to three years — about 40 percent last year and about 70 percent over last year to this year — so we’ve experienced tremendous growth,” added Cook. They are also growing their team. “We’re adding 12 to 15 new employees, most of them in the sales arena this year and the next 90 days, and we’ll continue to market ourselves aggressively.”