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Mobility funds

SK Holdings, China’s Geely launch $300 million future mobility fund

By Mar 18, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

SK Holdings CEO Jang Dong-hyun poses for a photo after a joint fund launch with Geely.
SK Holdings CEO Jang Dong-hyun poses for a photo after a joint fund launch with Geely.

South Korea’s SK Holdings Co. and China’s largest carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. have launched a $300 million joint fund that invests in future mobility technology companies.

SK Holdings, the holding and investment company of SK Group, said on Mar. 18 that the fund will mainly invest in companies with technology in connected, autonomous, shared and electric vehicle businesses.

“SK and Geely share the common growth DNA of focusing on eco-friendly businesses. We expect our partnership to help both companies strengthen in the future mobility areas,” said SK Holdings Chief Executive Jang Dong-hyun after attending an online launch ceremony with Geely CEO Daniel Li.

Both sides will chip in $30 million each for the fund, while the rest will later be financed from global investors, including European banks and Asian pension funds, according to SK.

The Korean company said veteran fund managers with more than 20 years of experience of working at global investment banks such as Macquarie and Morgan Stanley will run the fund, tentatively named New Mobility Fund.

It said SK and Geely also agreed to cooperate in hydrogen, battery supply chain, semiconductor and self-driving technologies to explore new business opportunities.

SK Holdings, China’s Geely launch 0 million future mobility fund

SYNERGY FROM SK’S STRENGTHS, GEELY’S GLOBAL NETWORK

Industry watchers expect their partnership to create synergy by combining SK’s strengths in batteries, mobility service and telecommunications with Geely’s vehicle production and its global network.

Geely, a leading EV maker in China, is expanding its business into future mobility. Earlier this year, it set up a joint venture with China’s top Internet portal Baidu Inc. to develop self-driving car technology.

Geely purchased a controlling stake in German automaker Daimler AG in 2008 and acquired the Swedish passenger carmaker Volvo Cars from Ford Motor Co. in 2010. It also owns British premium brand Lotus Cars and Swedish electric car startup Polestar.

Geely's auto research institute in Ningbo, China.
Geely's auto research institute in Ningbo, China.

SK Group, whose energy portfolio ranges from refineries, natural gas and batteries to renewable energy, has been fostering hydrogen and other eco-friendly car business as a key future growth engine.

As part of such efforts, the group in January signed a $1.6 billion deal to acquire a controlling stake in US hydrogen fuel cell maker Plug Power Inc. and launch a joint venture to advance into the rapidly growing Asian fuel cell market.

More recently, the group reshuffled its four investment divisions to each take charge of advanced materials, green business, bio and digital investment. It has also established a hydrogen business task force under the direct control of its CEO.

Write to Ri-Ahn Kim at knra@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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