SK Holdings Co Ltd, a holding company for South Korea’s third largest conglomerate SK group, plans to invest about 100 billion won ($83 million) in Chinese copper foil manufacturer Lingbao Wason Copper Foil Co Ltd in a move to reach China’s booming electric vehicle market, sources said on July 14.
The investment will be made up of shares from existing Lingbao Wason shareholders and new shares issued by the company, according to sources. The deal is expected to close before August.
The move came after SK Holdings bought 26% of the Chinese copper foil maker for 270 billion won in November 2018. At that time SK Holdings acquired the stake through its Hong Kong-based subsidiary Golden Pearl EV Solutions Limited and became the second largest shareholder of Lingbao Wason after China’s D&R Asset Management Group which owns a 39% stake.
This time SK Holdings will also acquire shares through Golden Pearl EV Solutions Limited. After the transaction is completed, SK Holdings’ stake in Lingbao Wason will increase to about 30%.
Lingbao Wason is said to be planning to expand its production capacity from four tons annually to 14 tons by 2025 to meet rising demand for copper foil which is one of the key components used in batteries for electric vehicles. Analysts expect copper foil prices to rise as global supply cannot keep up with demand growth.
Lingbao Wason recorded revenue of 340 billion won and operating income of 76 billion won on a consolidated basis in 2019. It counts many global players such as LG Chem Ltd, Samsung SDI Co Ltd, Matsushita Industrial Co Ltd, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd and BYD Co Ltd among its customers. (Reporting by Hee-yeon Han)