SEOUL, July 29 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s top chemical firm, LG Chem Ltd., said Thursday it will take over LG Electronics Inc.’s battery separator business at 525 billion won (US$458.5 million) to expand its battery material portfolio.
LG Chem, the parent of battery maker LG Energy Solution Ltd., said it decided to acquire LG Electronics’ chemical electronic material (CEM) unit to solidify its leading position in the battery industry.
Battery separators are one of the key components of lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles, which are important in preventing batteries from exploding in the charging process.
LG Chem said the deal includes LG Electronics’ production lines in South Korea, Poland and China, as well as about 800 employees and other intangible assets.
The two companies are affiliates of LG Group, the nation’s fourth-largest conglomerate.
The latest acquisition is part of the chemical firm’s plan to invest 6 trillion won by 2025 to establish a wide battery supply chain.
In December, LG Chem plans to break ground for a separator factory with an annual production capacity of 60,000 tons in the southeastern city of Gumi.
LG Chem said it is also preparing a joint venture with mining companies to secure stable supplies of key metals used in battery production.
LG Energy, the world’s No. 2 battery supplier, is a major supplier of batteries for nearly all major global carmakers, including Tesla, General Motors, Ford, Renault, Volvo and Volkswagen, as well as South Korea’s two largest automakers — Hyundai Motor and Kia Corp.