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EN Technologies aims to grow into global power equipment maker

Samsung, LG-invested tech company eyes IPO, joint ventures


Going global may not be an easy task for a small company, but EN Technologies, a Korean electric power equipment and parts developer, wants to prove that nothing is impossible for a venture tech firm like itself.

“My goal, at a personal level, is to show that even a venture firm in Korea can truly become a global enterprise like U.S. companies that started out as start-ups in Silicon Valley,” CEO and founder Tay Lee said in an interview with The Korea Herald.
CEO Tay Lee
CEO Tay Lee

Although it is already exporting its power supply equipment and parts to China, Japan and Southeast Asia where demand for power infrastructure is growing, the tech company seeks to further expand globally by venturing into the uncharted territories of smart grids.

The smart grid market has yet to be fully established in Korea or abroad, but Lee said the firm will take its time and develop step-by-step key technologies for electric vehicles and energy storage systems, two of the most important areas in the development of smart grid infrastructure.

A smart grid integrated with IT technologies can be adopted in all segments ― power plants, transportation, industrial factories and households. It allows consumers to enjoy more efficient use of electricity at lower costs amid skyrocketing oil prices, he noted. EN Technologies is currently working on smart power projects with several conglomerates including Samsung, LG and SK in Jeju.

Its next challenge is to enter the world’s two advanced markets the U.S. and Europe via possible joint ventures or strategic alliances as part of efforts to export its equipment.

Lee explained that such regional partnerships can help EN Technologies lessen the burden of marketing, logistics and distribution costs while expanding in those regions.

Thanks to Korea being known worldwide as a display powerhouse and its conglomerate venture capital backers, the chief executive said EN Technologies has a shot at being a true global company alongside its peers such as the U.S.-based Advanced Energy and Germany-based Huettinger.

Its major shareholders include Samsung Group’s Samsung Venture Investment and LG Group’s LB Investment.

To this end, another plan in the pipeline is to launch an initial public offering on the Korean stock market possibly in 2014 for its investors, Lee added.

EN Technologies’ major businesses not only include power supply for LCD and AMOLED display plants, but also sub-station and voltage distribution equipment. The company has been recognized as an A-plus member, a recognition given to very few innovative venture firms by the state-run Korea Technology Finance Corp.

CEO Lee also won an entrepreneur award from President Lee Myung-bak in 2010.

The company aims to achieve sales of some 50 billion won ($45 million) in 2012, up from 38.4 billion won last year. It has set aside about 5 billion won for research and development this year.

By Park Hyong-ki (hkp@heraldcorp.com)
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