Skip to content
  • KOSPI 3001.80 +10.08 +0.34%
  • KOSDAQ 1006.04 +9.40 +0.94%
  • KOSPI200 397.27 +0.96 +0.24%
  • USD/KRW 1181.2 -2.50 -0.21%
  • JPY100/KRW 1,040.48 -2.75 -0.26%
  • EUR/KRW 1,331.15 -4.48 -0.34%
  • CNH/KRW 185.41 -0.32 -0.17%
View Market Snapshot

Battery materials

SKC drops plan for silicon anode JV on investment overlap woes

Shares tumble to 3-week low as the decision dampens hopes for battery materials business expansion

By Oct 01, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Copper foil production line of SK Nexilis, fully owned by SKC. SKC may further expand copper foil capacity as it drops silicon anode JV with Nexeon, according to industry sources
Copper foil production line of SK Nexilis, fully owned by SKC. SKC may further expand copper foil capacity as it drops silicon anode JV with Nexeon, according to industry sources

South Korea’s SKC Co. withdrew a plan to set up a joint venture with British battery materials maker Nexeon Ltd. for the silicon anode materials business amid concerns about an overlap of investment in the sector within the group.

SKC’s shares on Oct. 1 tumbled to a three-week low as the decision dampened hopes for the company’s expansion in the battery business through the JV. The stocks lost up to 2.07% to 165,500 won ($139.4), the lowest since Sept. 10.

The shares already tumbled 15.08% in the previous day when SKC announced its board of directors rejected an investment in the JV with Nexeon and the company was not considering brining in the issue to the board again. The directors were known to have disagreed with the timing of the start of the business.

The decision, however, disappointed investors who thought the company should begin the business as soon as possible to meet growing demand. Many automakers announced plans to use silicon anode materials from 2023. Battery material makers need to start preparing since carmakers procure the materials though long term contracts, analysts said.

“It is hard to understand the board of directors’ decision. Considering the timing of the full-fledged silicon anode markets, it is a time to start preparing,” said a HI Investment & Securities analyst Jung Won-seok.

WORRIES ABOUT OVERLAPPING INVESTMENT

SKC, the chemical materials maker of SK Group, had planned the JV in a move to achieve SKC’s goal to expand its electric vehicle battery materials business and fivefold its corporate value to 30 trillion won by 2025. The JV plan raised worries about an overlap of investment within the group.

Last month, SK Materials Co., the group’s industrial gas manufacturer, announced a plan to jointly invest 850 billion won with US startup Group14 Technologies Inc. to build a battery material plant in South Korea.

SK Materials is set to start commercial production of silicon anode materials at the factory in 2022.

Some investors saw a decline in SKC’s stocks excessive, saying its valuation looked relatively lower than other battery materials shares. SKC’s determination remained strong, prompting market talk that the company may further expand copper foil production capacity or increase investment in cathode materials business.

Write to Yun-Sang Ko at kys@hankyung.com

Jongwoo Cheon edited this article.

Comment 1

0/300
  • 2021-10-09 09:41:28 (Gmt+09:00)

    Probably it has to do mostly with Nexeon wanting to list new JV company in nasdaq, which could mean out of control for sk due to activists investors in the US. Also, Korean companies' owners are more concerned in controlling stakes for themselves than share holder values.

    272/300