SK Group’s investment-focused subsidiary SK Holdings will invest an additional 100 billion won ($82.9 million) in Wason, a Chinese manufacturer of copper foil.
Copper foil is a core ingredient in anodes, one of the main components of electric vehicle batteries.
SK Holdings announced the decision Friday, adding that this is in addition to April 2019’s 270 billion won investment.
Wason is globally No. 1 in copper foil manufacturing. As of July 2020, Wason has an annual manufacturing capacity of 40,000 tons of copper foil and plans to grow that figure to 140,000 tons by 2025.
Currently, Wason is aggressively expanding its manufacturing capabilities through mergers and acquisitions, and by establishing new factories.
Copper foil is thinly spread copper. To make it, manufacturers must have the advanced processing technology to roll out copper uniformly so that it is as thin and as wide as possible.
According to the battery industry, there are only six such manufacturers in the world.
In 2019, Wason recorded revenue of 417.7 billion won and operating profit of 78.1 billion won. Its earnings before tax marked 100 billion won and saw a 32 percent rise on-year.
Wason is mulling whether to make an initial public offering, which means SK Holdings’ preemptive investment may yield added value.
“SK is fostering the EV parts and components business as growth motors. Wason’s rapid rise is reflective of our investment foresight. Through our preemptive investment, we expect to gain extra corporate value,” SK Holdings said.
Worldwide battery makers currently require 140,000 tons of copper foil. That figure is anticipated to grow to 750,000 tons by 2025, in proportion to the increasing demand for EVs.
By Lim Jeong-yeo (firstname.lastname@example.org)