SK Holdings said Tuesday that it had acquired a 270 billion won ($239 million) stake in Lingbao Wason Copper Foil, a Chinese manufacturer of copper foil, an integral metal component used to build batteries that power electric vehicles.
With the acquisition, the parent company of South Korea’s third-largest conglomerate, SK Group, is now the second-largest shareholder of China’s top copper foil manufacturer.
Copper foil is extremely thin and its production is a delicate process. Only six companies in the world, including Wason, currently produce copper foil of such high quality that it can be supplied to global finished automobile manufacturers, SK said.
As EVs become more mainstream in the years ahead, SK expects demand for copper foil, an integral component of EV batteries, to increase proportionally, enabling the global market for the metal component to grow by more than 30 percent annually until 2025.
Under current manufacturing standards, a single EV requires around 40 kilograms of copper foil — around 10,000 times the amount used to produce a smartphone — and this creates lucrative opportunities, SK said.
Established in 2001, Wason generated 340 billion won in revenue and recorded 62 billion won in operating profit in 2017. The copper foil maker is considered a high-profit enterprise, boasting an EBITDA margin of more than 20 percent, SK said.
By Sohn Ji-young (email@example.com)