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Advanced materials

SK’s holding firm completes merger with materials arm

To invest $4.3 billion in advanced materials by 2025; to raise capacity of special gases for semiconductors

By Nov 30, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

SK’s holding firm completes merger with materials arm

SK Inc., the investment and holding company of South Korea’s conglomerate SK Group, completed the merger with SK Materials Co. with aim to expand the group’s presence in the global advanced materials markets. SK Inc. was set to invest $4.3 billion in next-generation technologies for advanced materials.

The new entity will be officially launched on Dec. 1, SK Inc. said. In August, SK Inc. decided to absorb SK Materials.

The company merged with SK Materials by swapping SK Inc.’s new shares with those of SK Materials. The special gas business of SK Materials is split off to be incorporated into SK Inc.’s subsidiary.

SK Group aimed at combining SK Inc.’s competitiveness in the global investment and SK Materials’ strength in the advanced materials business.

“The advanced materials sector requires a high level of management strategy and bold decision-making, given the intensifying competition in the globe,” said an SK Inc. source. “We will maximize the synergy effect of the merger to increase market value as a global high-tech material company."

TO INVEST IN ADVANCED MATERIALS

In September, SK Inc. announced a plan to invest 5.1 trillion won ($4.3 billion) in advanced materials including ones for batteries, semiconductors and displays by 2025.

SK Inc. planned to expand production capacities of special gases for semiconductors, SK Materials’ core business, as well as battery materials including cathode and anode materials after the merger.

The holding company was slated to double annual capacities of nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), used to remove residue on the internal walls of chemical vapor deposition chambers, silane (SiH4), which is used to deposit silicon on semiconductor wafers and flat-panel glass substrates, and tungsten fluoride (WH6) with an investment of 1 trillion won. It also aims to expand its business portfolio to other materials such as EUV photoresist.

SK Inc. plans to move ahead with SK Materials’ decision to build a battery material plant for 850 billion won in South Korea with US startup Group14 Technologies Inc. It will also increase investment in high-performance anode materials such as carbon nanotubes. The company already agreed with Beijing Easpring Material Technology Co., a major Chinese cathode materials producer, to expand its materials businesses.

Write to Jung-hwan Hwang at jung@hankyung.com

Jongwoo Cheon edited this article.
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