As 2016 drew to a close, the South Korean industrial gases market was under intense scrutiny, as leading domestic company Daesung Industrial gases was subject to a large amount of M&A interest.

Some reports have suggested that the leader in the race to acquire Daesung Industrial Gases is MBK Partners, one of Asia’s largest home-grown private-equity funds. It has been suggested that the firm has won exclusive bidding rights, with Daesung expected to be a lucrative venture and easily resold after acquisition.

With interest in a potential acquisition still high, gasworld Business Intelligence has published its latest industrial gasreport for South Korea.

The gas market

The commercial industrial gases market in South Korea is estimated to have generated revenues of $1.8bn in 2015. This is up from $1bn in 2005, indicating an average annual growth rate of 5.7% for the decade.

The largest industrial gas company in the country is Air Products, with the company commanding a market share of 24%. Daesung Industrial Gases is the second-largest company in South Korea, being initially created as a joint venture between Air Liquide and Daesung Group. The company is currently majority owned by Goldman Sachs.

Other Tier One companies, beside Air Products, with operations in South Korea include Praxair, Linde, Air Liquide and Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (through subsidiary company MATHESON Gas Products Korea).

South Korea market share by company
  • Air Liquide
  • Air Products
  • Praxair
  • Linde
  • TNS
  • Daesung IG
  • Others

Atmospheric gases sales were the main revenue generator in the South Korean industrial gases market in 2015, with the sale of nitrogen, oxygen and argon responsible for a combined 61% share of total revenue. Unlike many other global markets there is a substantial demand of ‘other’ gases. This is largely due to demand for acetylene, with South Korea being the second-largest ship-builder globally, after China.

Market share by product
  • Air gases
  • Others gases

The future

Within the 2016-2020 timeframe, our forecast models predict growth from 3.7% per annum (p.a.) in a low scenario to 4.4% p.a. in a high scenario. This should see the industry in South Korea achieve revenues of approximately $2.2bn by 2020.

South Korea industrial gas market report

For more in-depth analysis of the South Korea industrial gas market, please contact, or call +44 1872 225031