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Battery materials

SK, Beijing Easpring Material join hands on battery materials

To set up wholly owned subsidiary in the US; establish JVs in China, South Korea

By Nov 16, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

SK headquarters in Seoul
SK headquarters in Seoul

SK Inc., the holding and investment company of South Korea’s SK Group, and Beijing Easpring Material Technology Co., a major Chinese cathode materials producer, have joined forces to expand their materials businesses.

Beijing Easpring said on Nov. 15 in a filing to the Shenzen Stock Exchange that it has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with SK, agreeing that the South Korean company will invest in the Chinese partner’s European new materials production base in Finland with no more than a 30% equity ratio for the cathode materials business.

They agreed to set up a wholly owned subsidiary in the US to expand their business in the country.

Both sides are set to establish a joint venture in South Korea by 2023, investing in cathode materials production plants and new materials research facilities. SK will hold no less than a 51% stake in the JV and Beijing Easpring will take no more than 49%.

They are slated to set up another JV in China, if necessary, with a pledge to prioritize supplying lithium cathode materials to the South Korean JV, which pledges to prioritize buying the product from Beijing Easpring, according to the filing.

Beijing Easpring said the cooperation with SK is expected to help the company further integrate into the global electric vehicle industry and expand its market shares in Asia, Europe and the US.

SK Group has been ramping up investment in battery and battery materials to meet growing demand in line with a surge in the global EV market.

Write to Jun-ho Cha at chacha@hankyung.com

Jongwoo Cheon edited this article.

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