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Lotte Chemical becomes sole bidder for Iljin Materials

Lotte Chemical (Yonhap)
Lotte Chemical (Yonhap)
Lotte Chemical has emerged as the sole bidder in the sale of South Korea’s second-largest copper foil manufacturer Iljin Materials, according to a local report Wednesday.

Global private equity fund operators and foreign strategic investors have pulled out during the bidding process due to Iljin Materials’ high prices and rate hikes, leaving Lotte Chemical as the only bidder, the Herald Business said in an exclusive report, citing investment bank sources.

Lotte Chemical on Monday confirmed in a public notice that the company has tendered a bid for Iljin Materials. But the firm said no detailed decisions have been made and that it will give notice either when further information is available or within one month.

An official from Iljin Materials told The Korea Herald that the company has entered sales talks, but was unable to give more details.

On the negotiating table is the 53.3 percent stake President and CEO Huh Jae-myung holds in Iljin Materials, which is expected to cost around 3 trillion won ($2.2 billion). Citigroup Global Markets Korea Securities is the deal manager.

Copper foil is a key component of secondary batteries used in electric vehicles. According to market analyzer SNE research, Iljin Materials was the fourth-largest copper foil producer in the world last year, accounting for 13 percent of the global market share. SK Nexilis, another South Korean copper foil manufacturer, topped the list with a 22 percent market share.

Iljin Materials announced last month that the company landed an 8.5 trillion won deal to supply Samsung SDI copper foil until the end of 2030.

In May, Lotte Chemical said the company will invest 4 trillion won in battery components by 2030 with the aim of creating 5 trillion won in annual sales.

By Kan Hyeong-woo (hwkan@heraldcorp.com)
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